May 2nd: I have a nightmare that my WH is cheating. During this time he is away at a personal training conference several hours from our home. That same night he sends my phone calls to voicemail and doesnít return text messages until the next morning. When asked why he said he had been too busy. I remain suspicious, he had never done anything like that before, but I keep my thoughts to myself and write it off as crazy pregnancy hormones messing with me.
May 21st after eating dinner my husband asked me if I was happy. I said yes. He asked why. I proceeded to give him the rundown of all the things that were going right in our lives: we had just bought a beautiful house in February, we have a really cute black lab/golden retriever mix that I love, I was married to a fantastic man and we were expecting a baby in a few months. I then asked him if he was happy. His response was silence. Eventually it came out that he hadnít been ďin loveĒ with me for years and that he thought it would be best if he moved on. Of course I was in complete shock. We hadnít even been arguing recently and for all I could see our marriage was better than most. I spent the next two days crying, unable to eat and not knowing what to do. Of course WH insisted there was no one else whenever I asked. On a couple of occasions he came home late after ďhanging outĒ with one of his clients and her roommate. During this entire time I continued to ask him if he was in fact leaving and what he wanted to do. I kept asking if there was someone else. Every time he said he didnít know and that there was no one else. I started noticing strange things like the fact that his phone suddenly had a password on it. I asked why, he said it was to keep clients out of his phone. May 24th after he comes home around midnight WH tells me he wants to work things out, that he didnít know what he was thinking. We go to the beach and the farmers market that weekend in an attempt to do some fun things together and try and get past this awful experience. May 29st I canít get it out of my head that WH wasnít being truthful with me and I log into our cell phone website. There I find a myriad of calls and texts between him and an unknown number going back a few weeks. Prior to that I find a string of texts going back and forth between yet another number during the time he was at his conference. On May 31st I realize that my cell phone is dead and ask to use his during my morning walk with the dog (in case I go into labor). He hesitates and then gives it to me. At this point I had the mystery number memorized, but low and behold not a single text message was to be found. I did, however, find her listed in his contacts. That evening I confronted him. After a few initial attempts at denial he finally admits that he had been sleeping with this 21 year old girl who is a hairdresser in training. (To put it into perspective, we are 33, and both have graduate degrees). He still refuses to admit anything happened during his conference.
At some point during the next few days it comes out that he thinks he never would have cheated on me or tried to leave me if he hadnít been on antidepressant medication. He finds a website (http://www.topix.com/forum/drug/effexor/TQ4I2UR28DFD3N759) dedicated to discussions amongst spouses who say that the affair in their relationship was a direct tie to the meds. I remain skeptical.
On our anniversary I ask AGAIN if something happened during his conference as well because I CAN NOT shake the feeling that something did. I tell him, ďfree pass!Ē I tell him, it wonít matter because it would just get batched in with what happened with Miss. 21. Yet he denies. The next Monday I contact the suspected woman via FB (her and WH are friends). She doesnít reply. He emails me an hour later asking why I had contacted her. I proceed to feel like an ass and an idiotÖ..right up until the confession that he kissed her.
Since this is ALREADY a huge book, I might as well paste the email thread:
WH: What are you doing?
Me: Um working?
DH: You contacted Trixie? (Not her real name)
Me: Iím sorry, I know I shouldnít have.
DH: So what did she say?
Me: Nothing. She never replied to me. I guess her first thought was to tell you that your bat shit crazy wife was contacting her.
DH: Yeah, she probably won't. She said she doesn't want to be in the middle of anything but she didn't want to just not respond to you. I told her I would talk to you.
I don't know why I didn't tell you this before. I guess I didn't want you to think I was a bigger shit than you already think I am but I should have anyway. That night I was talking about with the drinking and all her and I kissed. That's all. Nothing else, I swear. After that we kind of stayed away from each other like I said earlier. And the texts were all about the conference. Everything else is true. Nothing happened with anyone else. I'm sorry I didn't tell you that before. I guess I'm kind of ashamed about everything. Like I told you that medication was making me feel distant from you for a long time and this was part of that. However unlike with [Miss. 21] and the Walmart med I caught myself sooner I guess. I always feel like I should be in control and with this med I have a hard time admitting that I'm not. That's why I stopped all the medications. Regardless of the benefits I can't do this to you or just not be in control in general. It's not worth it.
I know I'm a shit and you probably doubt everything all over again but don't. There is NOTHING else. I'm so sorry I didn't just tell you. Like I said, I'm not even sure why I didn't other than the shame thing. I hate looking back and thinking I did something awful and couldn't or didn't control it. Maybe it's because I've always had so much self-discipline or self-control but I still should have told you.
Please don't go contacting people. It's not fair to them. I can show you the messages she sent me today if you want. I figured you'd want to see them.
DH (later, when I havenít replied): Oh, just to be clear I told you this on my own. She wouldn't have told you this. It wasn't like she threatened to tell you if I didn't or some shit. I just wanted you to know.
I hope you can forgive me.
END OF EMAIL THREAD.
The email thread goes on for a bit, and if anyone wants to see it I wouldnít mind showing, but I figure I would spare everyone else. At this point I think I am completely burnt out on reliving and putting down my experience. These last few days have been so hard. I canít do most of things that are suggested for BSís to be able to deal with the intense emotions. I canít hardly exercise, walking is hard enough (because I am 3 weeks from my due date and HUGE). I want to have sex with him, but it is awkward and uncomfortable so I donít get to indulge in what someone here referred to as "Hysterical Bonding." I canít go buy new clothes (whatís the point). On top of that we just moved to this city about 9 months ago so I have really no friends. My co-works are mostly 60 something men. I feel sooo alone, depressed, angry, lost. We start marriage counseling on Saturday but our finances are sooo tight, especially with the baby coming I donít know how we will afford it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this diatribe.
[This message edited by PreggoBS at 11:11 AM, June 21st (Friday)]
Hormones, the enormity of becoming a parent---and the need to feel safe in order to provide a safe and secure home for your baby---just wow. I really do feel for you.
Not to put too fine a point on it, but your husband is being a blameshifting jackass.
He "shared" because he wants you to stop harshing his affair mellow by reminding his girlfriend he's got a pregnant wife.
So please, stop the "I'm sorry I contacted Trixie; I shouldn't have" stuff. YOU ARE MARRIED TO THE MAN. YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO CONTACT ANY OTHER WOMAN WHO IS INTRUDING ON YOUR MARRIAGE.
Chances are, she's been told a whole bunch of nonsense about you. How you've grown apart. How he hasn't loved you in years. How you don't have sex, or don't understand him, or any one of forty million bullshit things cheating men tell their whores every single day.
It's all textbook, and there's NOTHING unique about their "love."
He's a cheater, and he's got a willing whore, that's all. No matter how you slice it, that's what you're dealing with.
The question is this: What is he going to do about it?
For starters, the, "The SSRIs made me do it" is utter bullshit.
Antidepressants can have adverse effects. Lips and other body parts colliding are NOT among them. That he's scurrying around the Internet looking for things to blame rather than shouldering responsibility is ...well, kind of pathetic. The mirror is where he needs to look.
Sometimes, when depression is lifted, people do things they did not have energy to do prior. This is why there is an increased suicide risk during the early stages of antidepressant therapy.
I have a strong, strong background in pharmacology (as in, have written textbooks), and never have I heard the, "An SSRI made me have an affair" side effect. It doesn't exist. Do people do wacky things when they are depressed, or emerging from depression? Sometimes. Unless their depressions have segued into psychosis, they retain full control of their actions.
Your husband is having an affair because he's choosing to have an affair. He has poor boundaries, blames things other than himself, and CHOOSES to cheat.
So. That leaves the important question: what's he going to do about it?
Is he going to work hard to become the partner you deserve, and the parent your child deserves?
Is he going to continue with his lame bullshit, making the joyous time he's already irrevocably tarnished even worse, or is he going to step up to the plate?
Has he told Trixie to get lost, that he's married, and wants no further contact with her by ANY means?
Is he prepared to significantly revise the way he does business---even change jobs, if that's what it takes to make you comfortable? (Ideal? No. But ideal is what you have before your husband cheats; after, he's responsible for working to regain trust, and this can require many sacrifices. Only you can define what you need. The things you need will be the result of his choices. Will he accept responsibility and make the necessary changes?)
You do not need to apologize for activities you needed to do to verify/refute what your gut was telling you. We have instincts for a reason, and you had reason to believe your husband was cheating. You were right.
The ball is now in his court. The one thing I wish I'd realized far sooner was that we can't control anyone's thoughts, feelings, or actions but our own. In other words, there's no need for you to beg or plead or try to make yourself more attractive to him.
Just focus on what YOU need. Clearly state, for him, what YOU require. "I need for you to send a no contact letter to this woman." "I need for you to stick to male clients until I feel safer." Your list will be different from others', but might include things like no contact, individual counseling and, once he's learned better coping tools (and has stopped blaming you, meds, or anything other than his own lousy choices for his actions), marriage counseling.
Prepare for your needs to evolve as time passes, and the enormity of the betrayal creeps in. Right now, you're focused on other things--quite rightly. Over time, your needs may change. Your husband needs to be prepared to accept this; the fallout he experiences is due to his choices, not yours.
In your shoes, I'd table marriage counseling. Until your husband is remorseful and accepting responsibility for his actions, there is no sense in going to MC, and it in fact can be very damaging to the BS. The LAST thing you need is to sit in someone's office and be told that your deficiencies or deficiencies in the marriage caused something for which ONLY YOUR HUSBAND is responsible.
In the meantime, I'd read the Healing Library. It's in the yellow box to the left. In particular, I'd focus on the BS FAQ #11. It addresses what we call the 180. It's a method of detaching enough to gain enough emotional distance that you can make more clear-headed decisions. (It sometimes has the effect of making a WS see what s/he stands to lose, but this is secondary; it is geared toward giving YOU strength.)
MOST importantly--and I know this is difficult because I still struggle with it---is making sure that you eat and drink. Especially now, hydration is crucial for you; with a baby on the way, you just can't afford to become dehydrated.
If you can't eat (I vomited for months), get some good-quality protein supplements. If you don't have dairy issues, whey protein isolate is generally more bioavailable than soy, and poses fewer risks. (There is some controversy about the estrogenic properties of soy, and most experts now recommend no more than 1-2 servings a day; when pregnant, you might want to be more conservative.) Do take your prenatal vitamin, but make sure you have a little something in your stomach. If you can, gentle exercise each day--a nice walk--is one of the best stress-relievers. It will also help you sleep. As for sleep, rest when you can; this infidelity business can make it awfully hard to sleep, and most doctors are reluctant to prescribe meds or recommend OTC sleep aids during pregnancy.
The next few weeks will be hard enough without the addition of infidelity. Think about what will make you feel safe and comfortable. That is what matters most right now.
Having "dealt" with infidelity during a pregnancy, I will caution you that the impulse is to "get over it" quickly. Please be sure that you require the work necessary to REALLY recover and reconcile---or to determine that this is not possible. The alternative is ...well, either a continuation of the infidelity or a sort of "dry drunk" situation. The latter refers to when an alcoholic stops drinking, but does not really enter recovery. S/he may be technically "sober," but retains the disordered thinking characteristic of an alcoholic. Without the hard recovery work, and the attendant shift in thinking patterns, the risk of recidivism is very, very high. Worse, there IS NO RECOVERY. It's just...treading water, remaining toxic if "sober."
Take it from a woman who lived with a "dry drunk" (as relates to infidelity) for over two decades: it is soul-crushing.
If you do nothing else now, make clear that you expect your husband to dig deep, find the REAL reasons infidelity was, to him, an acceptable response to whatever angst he might feel, and to do the HARD work to (a) gather new coping tools, and (b) repair the horrendous, horrendous damage he's done to you, your marriage, and your family at a time that is supposed to be joyous.
As a little footnote, I'd like to gently suggest that you be mindful of the possibility of postpartum depression, and to talk with your doctor about this so that you can get prompt intervention if it arises.
Less tiny is something difficult to think about, but something really important: I'd ask for the STD panel to be re-run. I shifted from Group B strep negative to positive during my last pregnancy; I never would have known, if my own doctor hadn't been on vacation (this was before electronic records); we were waffling about VBAC, and the doctor on call retested me--THANK GOD. Strep B is the leading cause of neonatal pneumonia and death in the U.S. It's screened for routinely, but if your husband has had sex with a woman for whom it's part of the normal vaginal flora, you may now harbor it. It's not a risk to you, but it IS a risk to the baby, requiring prophylactic antibiotics.
I know your husband says he did not have sex. He may be telling the truth (and I genuinely hope he is), but the risk, at this point, is awfully high; I'd ask for testing. (And I am so, so sorry to bring ANYTHING up to increase your anxiety at this time; I know how it hurts to have what should be the best time of your life so thoroughly tarnished. Just know: you're going to love your baby in ways you can only now imagine, and NOTHING will tarnish that---I promise.)
I am so, so sorry for your pain, and so wish you did not have any occasion to ever find us. But I'm glad you're here.
Millions of hugs to you.
I am with everyone else, I think you'll find out there is more to his story.
Also, how do I send a PM notquiteoverit?? This site kind of confuses me.
Thank you all so much for your thoughts and reading my super duper long story. I really appreciate it.
Do you have access to his cell phone records?
Edited to add:sorry, misread your post.
[This message edited by brokenblackbird at 1:08 PM, June 21st (Friday)]
The "we just kissed" while possible - is improbable... given the circumstances...
It's not part of a normal STD panel. It IS routinely screened for in early pregnancy. Many doctors do NOT think to repeat the test unless specifically asked to do so.
Because of the potential for really disastrous consequences in your unborn baby--which can be completely bypassed by identification of the bacterium and prophylactic antibiotics, PLEASE ask that the test be repeated. It's not expensive or invasive, and it can make a huge difference in the outcome for your baby.
(I assume, when you refer to your pending swab results, that your doctor also took blood to screen for HIV and other blood-borne pathogens.)
I will contact my doc for further info. He doesn't know that DH has had an affair. Is it better that he know? I could just ask for the Strep B screen without saying why....
Thanks for the info on how to PM.
Im really sorry you are here. Take care of your little one. Go into investigative mode.
Dont retreat, reload.
"Pull that knife out of your back - and sever the fuel line to that bus you got thrown under" Bufffalo
Tell your doc. In the next few weeks, knowing your emotional challenges and the possibility that your WH is more of a stresser than a supporter (perhaps) is insight your doc should have in his care for you and the upcoming labor and delivery.
They choose cheating. It isn't like getting the shakes or hives from the meds. When it comes down to it, it's a CHOICE.
I've been on ADs before. I know what it's like to have your moods, feelings and general personality changed by them. I call B.S.
I understand it is difficult to want to believe the choice your husband made (not just once, but multiple times). Its easier to lay the blame elsewhere. Sometimes it can come out in anger towards the OW.
Covering up the real reasons why he did it will cause this type of behavior to continue.
That doesn't mean your husband's depression did not contribute to his behavior, or that he didn't use horrendous coping tools. Might he have "self-medicated" with other women? Yes, sadly.
But unless he experiences depression with psychotic features, he retains(ed) the ability to discern right from wrong, and was able to CHOOSE his actions.
As for the STDs--Yes, please tell your doctor.
This is important for a few reasons. First is, of course, the need to appropriately screen you for STDs. Specifically, ask whether s/he would like to re-test for Group B strep; as the leading cause of neonatal morbidity and mortality, it poses the most immediate risk to your baby---but the risk can be removed very, very easily.
Also, your doctor will want to help you watch for signs of postpartum depression so that it is immediately addressed, if necessary. It's important for you and your baby to be as healthy as possible---and your doctor can best help you with that if s/he knows the truth.
I am so sorry. My heart aches for you.
Please don't go contacting people. It's not fair to them.
This sounds odd to me, like there are other OW out there you don't know about.
They do not cause cheating, but can lead to altered mental states that are nearly invisible to an observer, and which lead to unpredictable behaviors when a patient is exposed to certain stimuli.
Their are no exceptions.