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Is it time to stick a fork in it?

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WWMEH13 posted 3/14/2013 10:05 AM

I'm new here, just found the site yesterday. I'm struggling with what I want to do, and I don't want to string along BH anymore, but I'm just so confused. Back story...

6 months into our dating relationship, I suspected that my now BH had an addiction to pornography, and it was affecting our intimacy. I mentioned it to him and he said he it wasn't a big deal. 1.3 years into the relationship, I discovered that he had a secret email account, and had registered for Adult Friend Finder. I immediately broke up and left his house. He came after me, apologized profusely, said he hadn't done anything and that the last year and a half of his life had been the best. I gave him a second chance. 4 months after that I was certain he had a porn addiction, and he was looking at because I had installed a keylogger program on his computer. I was being driven mad, and my self esteem was at an all time low. I felt I was never good enough, so I lost more weight, dyed my hair blonder and did the best I could to look a porn star and emulate their moves and behaviors, and still he didn't want me. We went to three meetings with a sex therapist and he wasn't really into it, so didn't give it a chance. Despite all these red flags, and my self esteem at a low, I loved him, and when he asked me to marry him I said yes, and was so hopeful that things would finally get better.

The first year of marriage was especially tough as he was unemployed for almost the whole year, it was at the beginning of the recession. A lot of resentment built on my end because he would be at home on the couch in his robe when I got home a lot days, with dishes still in the sink and I knew he'd been looking at porn. Our sex life was almost non existent. On top of that, he was never an affectionate, complimentary, or touchy person, but reclusive and critical, and I just felt so completely isolated. He got a job at the beginning of 2010 and I thought things were looking up, and we got pregnant. That was the nicest he had ever been to me, and it was great, but the first year of our son's life was a nightmare. I suffered from some depression and anxiety, I couldn't lose the baby weight, and he called me fat, and pushed me further away every time I tried to reach out. I ended up drinking a lot to ease the pain.

At the beginning of 2012, I decided to take my life back, I began exercising again, cut back on drinking and focusing on getting happy. BH wasn't very supportive of my efforts, or I didn't perceive he was, and the more I reached out the more he retreated. My AP had been my boss for 2 years. He was also married, much longer, and has 3 kids. He quit and moved companies in March of last year, and then it was on. We admitted that we had a mutual attraction and we started a relationship. It was so easy for me to justify it in my head, because I felt like BH had thousands of other women he preferred over me for the last 6 years, and every time he said he would stop and change, he did for a bit, but then slid right back into it.

I was a coward and rather than leave, I had an affair, and I didn't think about anyone else but myself, or as chump lady calls it, getting me ego kibbles.

I tried to end it with the AP because it was eating me alive, more that he wasn't really mine, but also that what I was doing wasn't fair to anyone, but I just couldn't stop, he was like a drug. He kept saying why can't we have our cake and eat it to? Because I wasn't, I was suffering, but after a little begging I would relent and stay in the affair, but I loved the way I feel, so no one to blame but myself.

So here I am, 3 months out of the affair, 1 month separated, but not sure I want to reconcile, because frankly the relationship never truly made me happy. The fog is lifting but I just don't know if I have the capacity to love this man again, because I just don't right now, and I don't want to stay together just for our son, but I just don't want to pull the plug in case it is the wrong thing. He says he can change, and wants to save the marriage. Obviously I need to change things too, but what if we just aren't meant to be. He has been attending 12 step meetings for the porn, and trying to be a nicer, less critical person, but I am gun shy since he has said he'll do this before. In addition, I just think it might be too little too late.

Please help, I just feel so directionless...sorry for the long winded post.

Nature_Girl posted 3/14/2013 10:44 AM

Are you in IC? Are you addressing your issues to discover why you would stay with a man who treated you so badly and clearly has major problems with intimacy (and probably sex addiction)?

heartbroken_kk posted 3/14/2013 10:47 AM

Sorry you find yourself here, and welcome to the club nobody wanted to join. It sounds like you had an exit affair, and you are justifying it based on your BH having a porn addiction.

How sad, for both of you. I would encourage you to post in the wayward forum, where the 2x4s come from people who have walked in your shoes.

It seems you already made your decision to leave, quite some time ago. Despite your BHs issues with porn, I'm sure he is suffering. Did you confess to having an affair, or did he find out? Does he know?

uncertainone posted 3/14/2013 11:06 AM

It seems you already made your decision to leave, quite some time ago

Yep. This. So did I. My choices were leaving without leaving. Straddling the rail thinking that shit works. It doesn't.

So, your choice to cheat. Your lousy marriage. Two completely seperate things. Yes, your marriage sounds like kind of a nightmare. So how would cheating resolve any of that shit?

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day. People treat pain like its a monster when it's actually a life saver. Our body hurts because something is wrong (well unless we hit the gym after decades). Our psyche hurts because there's some thing wrong. It's letting us know so we do something about it. That doesn't mean find someone else. It means protect ourselves. That can be by working through issues together or getting ourselves away from a situation.

Affairs merely import more pain into an already full plate of it.

So now thought processes. What were yours that green lighted staying with your BS as well as enabled you to view an affair as an acceptable choice?

Does your BS know? If not he needs to be told.

WWMEH13 posted 3/14/2013 11:08 AM

Yes, I am in IC, and the primary reason is to figure out why I allowed myself to be treated in a way I wasn't okay with. I have never felt good enough for my mother who was always overly critical of my appearance and life, so I am sure it almost felt comfortable to be with a man who would do the same thing. I never thought I was the cheating type, and never had before in a relationship, which is why this caught me by surprise. I don't want to be this person, I think I was just so beat down.

I have wondered if I was trying to get caught so I could exit, and the choice wouldn't have to be mine, because frankly, why would he stay? But then he started to get help, but I have been down this road, and I just don't trust it.

My therapist said I emotionally disconnected from my M a year ago before I even stepped out, which is why I am not telling him I want to reconcile, but I have hurt him so much already, how do I tell him I want a D now too, and then what about my son?

BH discovered the A in July, and I went NC for 3 weeks with the AP, but picked back up until BH had second Dday on 12/18.

I realize now how I have been blaming him for the A, because of his emotional immaturity and the addiction, but I made the choice to cheat and not leave, so I am past that, and I think I am finally coming out of the fog, I just don't want to tell him I am ready for R, and end right back here in 6 months or a year because I just don't have anything left for him.

WWMEH13 posted 3/14/2013 11:33 AM

I think I was leaving without leaving. The AP proposed a "friends with benefits" situation in which we would have our needs met that weren't being met in the marriage, but we would get to stay married. I replied to him "sure, nothing could go wrong with that plan"

I can see the BH is trying to be a different man, but he is 37, how much is he really going to change? Is he suddenly going to be a great lover? Is he suddenly going to want to hold my hand in public, or let me stroke his hair or arm without shrugging me off? And if he does, it is a lifetime change?

I realize relationships take work, I get it. My parents have been together 44 years and they haven't all been rosy, but should it be this hard? Can you really truly fall back in love with someone who has been really crappy to you? My therapist says no, once it's gone it's gone, and she's the expert right? But then you read the books that say it is possible, and you see the R forums, I just don't know.

Nature_Girl posted 3/14/2013 11:39 AM

I just want to say that dealing with a SA for a partner/spouse is a horrible, horrible way to live. I urge you to take R off the table for the time being. You need to work on YOU. It would be wonderful if your BH would work on himself, too. He needs major help with a trained professional. You would need to see amazing leaps & bounds of healthy progress in him for at least a year before you could or should realistically even think of putting R back on the table. I say this as the spouse of a die-hard SA. We did the dance of discovery, minimizing & appeasing, white-knuckling, then the descent back into him acting out while I tried to ignore it.

You need to focus on yourself. I truly do understand the horror of living with a SA, and I understand how a person would be so starved for contact that they'd cheat. Part of my husband's SA includes sexual anorexia with me, which made things hard for me to accept for a long time (why is he acting out with porn/others, but he can't do a thing with me?). So I get being completely empty because your husband won't touch you or offer you any emotional intimacy. But that's why you need lots of frequent IC right now, to help you dig deep and discover just how your FOO led you to this marriage and kept you in it.

Since this is the wayward forum I won't chime in here again because I'm not comfortable commenting here. I did just want to let you know, though, that your experiences with your SAWH are typical. You probably are codependent as the majority of SA spouses are. I hope you can work on that with your IC. Leave off R for now, leave off concerning yourself with your BH. Try to fix yourself.

WWMEH13 posted 3/14/2013 11:50 AM

Thank you NatureGirl. The SA has been very difficult to deal with as you say. Every time it was approached, he would minimize the addiction, say it wasn't an addiction, and it wasn't that bad, he wasn't every acting on it. But yes, rejecting me sexually, not ever initiating and if it was initiated making sure that porn was involved eats away at your soul. You just want someone to validate that you are desirable and lovable.

He says he has been attending meeting, I do know he got a 60 day sobriety chip, but that was right before he moved out. He said one of his fears of moving out is that he would be alone and would act out more, and I said you can't put that on me, I don't want to be your police officer anymore. It's exhausting.

He has made it very clear though, that if I don't have a decision regarding R soon, he'll continue with the divorce proceedings. He won't wait more than the 6 months we originally proposed and he would prefer an answer before that. I am just not prepared to give it until I really see change in him, and me.

And then comes the I want to deal with the SA the rest of my life? Because it will always be an issue.

PS, what does FOO mean?

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