I married him long after he acquired his disability. It was never an issue for me. He wasn't my 'disabled husband'. He was 'my husband who happened to be disabled'.
But I have found that his disability has factored into the infidelity situation in several ways.
1 - I have helped to take care of him for over 25 years. Lifting, restroom needs, doing all the 'man stuff' around the house, carring stuff, packing and unpacking for trips - etc. I know it shouldn't matter to me, but when you have committed your life to 'being there' for someone, especially with the tons of 'extra' stuff I have done for him, it makes a difference to me - the infidelity. Like, if I was a cold, indifferent, shitty wife, it wouldn't seem like such a betrayal. But I have gone above and beyond. (I guess that sounds like some people 'deserve' to be cheated on...I certainly don't believe that!)
2 - Now, after all these years, he is suffering from issues dealing with his disability. He says that at the first of our marriage he was 'living in a disabled world' so he didn't feel the real effects of his disability. But now, he lives 'in an able-bodied world', and he 'feels' the diffferences more. I know this is probably true, but its not my fault.
3 - I feel that I am in a different situation than most when considering the decision about staying or leaving after infidelity. If I leave, he cannot live alone. I cannot do that to another human being.
He tells me that he cannot believe that I think it is any different - the way I feel about his infidelity - just because he is disabled. God forgive me, but it does feel different. I have been there for him in EVERY way for all these years.
Don't really know what I'm saying. Right now I have a son (biracial-adopted) who is having identity issues. My husband is dealing with disability issues - however delayed it may be.
I am just dealing with "I want to be valued" issues. I am a competant person. Hell, I am outstanding in some ways! If my husband and I were a team again, we could conquer the world - much less be a more positive force for our kids.
But ALONE...its like my hands are tied. I am all about being a part of a TEAM. A PARTNERSHIP.
For him, to be forced to be a part of a team is practically painful - he is an 'individual sport' kind of guy all the way. I just wish I knew that 30 years ago!
Sorry this is so 'all over the place'.
[This message edited by WhatsRight at 10:21 AM, July 15th (Monday)]
I will not be vanquished. Rose Kennedy
Iíve been married 37 years, my husband had an affair with his secretary. We are a little over 3years from DDay but only about 8 months since the last broken NC. After I discovered the affair, they continued to work together for 2 Ĺ years before he was able to find another job. During that entire time I was constantly finding emails, texts, phone calls. I do feel confident they were never alone together again, but the emotional side never stopped until he finally left.
My H did find another job and three weeks after he started the new job, he was diagnosed with a blood cancer. As you can guess, our world was turned upside down. So in essence, we never really started a true reconciliation because as long as they were seeing each other at work, it just wasnít possible. Then with the diagnosis, our lives were consumed with his health. In April 2013 he had a bone marrow transplant.
The recovery for this is at least 2 years and its doubtful he will ever return to his pre-transplant level of health. So our lives are forever changed. He is home now, on disability and Iím taking care of him. I do still work full-time to keep our health benefits.
I felt so badly for you when I read your post. I feel somewhat similar. My emotions are all over the place. My heart goes out to him because heís been through a lot with the transplant. But, Iím angry. Iím angry that for 2 Ĺ years he continued to lie to me and disrespect me and now who is here to take care of him? Me. Yes, I do all those things now Ė all the ďmanĒ things around the house. I go to work everyday, I cook all his meals because he has very strict dietary restrictions. I have to give him daily infusions, he has clinic visit 3x a week. I have to manage his medication which is upwards of 40 pills a day. There is so much he canít do. He canít touch dirty laundry, he canít touch dirty dishes, he canít go outside and the list goes on and onÖÖÖÖ..and Iím angry. So angry at him and at angry at the circumstances and just angry at life in general. Yes, he thanks me. Yes, heís sorry about everything that happened, yes, heís appreciative. And yes, Iím still so angry.
I donít know where Iím going with this either, but I just wanted to reach out to you and say that youíve been heard and if you ever need to vent, please PM me.
Still, what would make you feel valued? Is the problem that your H and your son are showing they value you in ways you don't recognize? Are you and your H experiencing a love language mismatch? (There's a test at www.5lovelanguages.com.)
[This message edited by sisoon at 12:38 PM, July 15th (Monday)]
I agree with you - the infidelity you suffered IS different and I don't know why he doesn't see that, probably because he can't put himself in your shoes.
It sounds like you feel trapped - can't leave because of his disability but not wanting to be there at the same time. I think it will probably build a lot of resentment.
If you really think you need to leave could you start to explore resources for him so that he could be on his own. would you consider leaving him and possibly helping him on a temporary or part time basis until something else is worked out?
I know we see this same advice over and over on here - but have you thought about counseling? Are there any specialized groups that could help you?
As for your DS, if your relationship with his father is dysfunctional, staying together because of your son will not help him grow up to be a loving husband; he will only know what your M looks like.
I would be there when needed but nit give myself fully to him then. I mean you could probably still separate and look for a caregiver for him.
I totally get it. I believe I would have similar feelings in that situation. You have been an awesome partner, and somehow the betrayal seems even more shocking in that situation.
[This message edited by doggiediva at 5:03 PM, July 15th (Monday)]
I sympathize with you more than you know!
My WH wants everybody in the world to believe he is disabled ..
He just chooses not to work..
I am the one who is disabled from full time work at what I do unless/until I can train for a more sedentary job...
What would your WH do if he was single..
He needs to marshall those resources..
Nursing/PT/etc, all that his insurance will cover...
It is not as if any one person can be counted on to take care of him forever..
He needs to figure out the resources to take care of himself..
[This message edited by doggiediva at 5:05 PM, July 15th (Monday)]
I am so sorry for your situation. Don't apologize...it IS all about your / our struggles. I feel best when something I post can perhaps help someone in some way.
sisoon...To tell you the truth, I haven't felt valued in so long that I'm not sure what would do it for me. I think it is entirely possible that my husband and son are 'appreciating me' on some level that I just don't see. We have done the 5 Love Languages test and read the book. Its like he can grasp the idea of something like that, but doesn't internalize it - so its just like learning something and not applying it.
On the issue of co-dependency, I can certainly see your point. But I have a problem with that term as it applies to marriage. To me, the very concept of marriage includes an element of co-dependency. I want us to be co-dependent. But not to an unhealthy level.
I wish I could explain more about my husband, but I am forever afraid that someone will know who we are. How pathetic is that?
While his disability is a factor when I have thought about leaving, the truth is that I have never REALLY wanted to leave. I would have wanted huge remorse, and the effort to put our marrriage back together. But now...I don't know.
In my post, however, I was mainly wondering if others think it is horrible to think that his disability factors into my disbelief and anger and resentment about his infidelity.
He has to give himself a shot to just get an erection. He doesn't 'feel' normally. He rarely ejaculates. (So sorry for the TMI) What would be the reason to get oral sex from a prostitute under these circumstances?
These factors are what lead me to believe that maybe she was not a prostitute - maybe it was an ongoing thing. He said once in counseling that he thought it wouldn't be as bad for me because it wasn't a 'relationship'.
OK - now this is OFFICIALLY "all over the place".
When he didn't come home 3 nights in a row and wouldn't tell me where he was, I kicked him out. Found out he was hanging out with an 18yr old. That was it!!! I filed for D and never looked back. I was no longer responsible for providing finacially or emotionally to someone that showed me so little respect and appeciation. I no longer cared that he would be trying to survive on his little disability check. That was his problem. He made the choice to put another person over his wife and kids, so that is what he deserved in the end. I deserved to be loved, respected, and appreciated.
You can not always put others before yourself. It will just make you an unhappy bitter person. Your WH also had choices and he choose to betray you after all that you did for him. The utter fact that it was with a prostitute and he had to inject himself just to be able to even do it is just ridiculous and shows he was only being selfish and thinking of himself as all WS tend to do. You do not owe him anything. He was able to do that without you, so let him figure out how he can do everything else without you. It is not your problem unless you let it continue to be.
My WH now lives alone as the kids are grown and his parents are all deceased. He occasionally has relationships, but they never last for long. He played his disability to the max in the courtroom and with his family until they seen how manipulative and ungrateful he really was.
If this marriage is toxic to you and your future, you need to get out and let him figure out the consequences of not having you there. (((HUGS)))
I'm tempted to ask what you would do if your H weren't disabled. Instead, I'll say I think you need to work on yourself to decide what you want, what you'll accept, and what you'll do, given that you can't change your H. Maybe it's not that you want your H to value you; rather, you need to find your value yourself.
You'll get virtually unanimous support from SI if you choose to leave, if that's what you want. You'll probably get less than unanimous support if you decide to stay under the current circumstances, but you'll still get a lot of support.
But I hate to see you really in limbo, pulling yourself every which way, and pulling yourself apart. I'm not saying make your decision immediately, but I am saying: start nurturing yourself now. You deserve it.
I may be wrong, but I do think I value myself. Otherwise, I would never stand up for myself. I wouldn't get upset if I didn't think I deserved better.
But I have a different 'take' on the whole marriage thing. I have been married 2 times before. So it is - I know - very odd when I say that my marriage to me is a lifetime committment. Its not a dress I'm trying on, and take it back if it gets a tear. Not a puppy that you take back because it bites the neighbors. I am in this for the long haul. And I think ESPECIALLY because of his disability.
My husband is emotionally unavailable - a total emotional cripple...mostly because his father was the antichrist, and his childhood was horrifying. I married him aware of this. But we were so in love that it wasn't so prominant at that time. Then when problems began...life, kids, jobs, etc., he began to withdraw.
To my knowledge, he had a ONS with a prostitute, looked at a bunch of porn for a few months, and did what I am supposing was inappropriate 'chatting' online. Could be more, but not to my knowledge.
None of this is happening now. (To my knowledge.) He is a good financial provider. He has always been very supportive and involved with our kids. He is at work every day - at home every night.
I am in NO WAY making excuses for his infidelity. But I guess I'm trying to explain why I am choosing to stay. There is no abuse. Not the kind to leave for. No ongoing infidelity - no drugs or alcohol issues - none of that stuff. He's just not a good partner.
I maried for better or worse. I know the infidelity is about as 'worse' as you can get. But, because I DO value myself, I am not going to compromise my loyalty, and committment to him because of this horrible thing he has done. I could never live with myself otherwise.
To answer the question, "What if he were single?" I think I would feel the same way. If it happened and then stopped.
Honestly, if I was much younger and without kids, I can't honestly say for sure what I would do. But I am not younger and do have kids to consider.
Forgive me if this has been addressed, or if I am out of line, but:
Can you look at planning your/his future based on "how would he be taken care of if I (God forbid) die?" Maybe start (slowly) to look at what would needs to be in place, if you weren't here? How would he take care of himself? Who would take care of him? Where would he need to live? etc.
Maybe if you could get those answers you would then be able to know he would be all right, and that IF you decided to leave you could do that without any guilt? b/c you would know he would be all right?
You are an amazing woman WR. For all that you have gone thru, to still be so concerned about others. A lot of people would have taken a "up yours" attitude, and left.
YOUR actions show the world your kindess, and compassion. My heart goes out to you.
2. You've told us about your husband:
My husband is emotionally unavailable - a total emotional cripple...
3. You've told us your thoughts and feelings on marriage:
I know - very odd when I say that my marriage to me is a lifetime committment. Iíts not a dress I'm trying on, and take it back if it gets a tear. Not a puppy that you take back because it bites the neighbors. I am in this for the long haul. And I think ESPECIALLY because of his disability. ...I married for better or worse.
I would have wanted huge remorse, and the effort to put our marriage back together.
That leaves #1. The betrayed spouse.
WhatsRight, what are you? WHO are you? Are you healed? Are you as "good as it gets"?
I suggest you focus on your healing. The only person you can change on this planet is you. Right?
Fortunately we have really great life insurance so that if something happens to either of us, we will be OK financially.
I appreciate your concern - and the concern of all who responded. I understand that I am not going to get the remorse I need. The only way I could get that is if he went to counseling and got all of his shit stripped away and was able to take the risk to feel. But I had a professional tell me one time - when he was considering hypnosis for my WH - that it can be dangerous if the person simply cannot take facing things. I think it is very possible my husband fits into that category.
So, I raise my kids, try to work with my husband on 'life' things like kids and the house and church functions, etc. My days are pretty busy and I am not the miserable person I portray myself to be sometimes.
I just so appreciate the opportunity to be able to sog on to SI and whine or vent or feel sorry for myself. You guys are so kind!