I am new to posting on SI, although I have been reading it for the last 4 months to try to put things in perspective for myself and for my betrayed wife what I have done.
Here is my story. Beginning in early March 2013, for the first time in my life I began trolling Craigslist for prostitutes. I spent the better part of the month texting back and forth with a number of prostitutes, and ultimately ended up paying one of them for sex. Once. I had never been with a prostitute before, and I wouldn't say I've ever even had an issue with other sexual vices - I'm not into porn, I don't frequent strip clubs, and I've always been someone who was turned off by such things. Something changed in early March as I started to feel my world collapsing around me at work and at home.
Let me be clear, however, that my feeling of doom was just that...only a feeling. In reality, my home life and my work life were fine, and my IC and I are trying to understand how I came to act out in the ways that I did. We have talked at length about my feeling of emasculation and my ability to compartmentalize my thoughts in a way that removes feeling from action.
DDay 1 was on 3/25/13, when my wife discovered text messages with the prostitute I slept with. She was devastated, and the look in her eyes as she confronted me caused me to shut down and I began lying about the extent of what I'd done because I was so afraid to tell her the truth. In particular, I lied to her about the number of prostitutes I had communicated with and on how many occasions. I told her that it was only a single individual, and that I texted with her on and off for about 10 days. I began going down this lying hole, and couldn't muster the courage to tell her the truth until DDay 2. In the meantime, I took all those lies I had told, and apparently convinced myself well enough that it was the truth because I have a hard time pulling back the truth from the compartments I have placed them in (if that makes sense).
DDay 2, on 7/21/13 occurred when I was contacted by text again by this prostitute. I continued lying about the extent of my texting relationship with her but ultimately came clean about texting multiple women over multiple days. I estimated that I had texted 30 times with this prostitute and a handful of other times with others. I truly thought this was an overestimate because I apparently have locked away the emotional guilt that I had with each text message. In my mind, I really could not recall how many times we texted or what we texted about. But I was sure I was overestimating by suggesting it was 30 texts. This was a huge relief to me because I felt like I could finally turn the corner and stop hindering any possibility of reconciliation by telling only the truth. I saw the same look in my betrayed wife's eyes as that first night, and this was a significant wake up call to me that I could NEVER do something like this again because I CANNOT see her this way. She is my everything, and I truly want to refocus entirely on her.
I have been reading many of the books that are suggested reading by others on SI, as well as the Healing Library, in hopes that I can help my wife heal. One of the suggested activities that has been offered as potentially helpful for the BS is for the WS to construct a timeline of the A so that all information is on the table.
This morning, I logged on to our wireless bills from the month of March in order to help reconstruct this timeline for her. What I discovered about my activities was truly shocking to me. I exchanged between 350 and 400 text messages with prostitutes over 3 weeks in March, the vast majority with the one I eventually saw. I also discovered that I spent most of the entire weekend before I visited the prostitute texting with her, while my wife was away and I was alone with our 2 young sons (both under the age of 6). I also texted with her 20 times on my oldest son's birthday.
When I realized the depth of my actions over the three weeks in March, I was sick. I honestly did not realize how much effort and energy I had spent doing this. It just didn't register on my radar screen how frequently I texted with this woman. I completely removed any of this from conscience in order to live with myself, and I placed it some compartment in my mind.
I emailed my wife this morning explaining that I had been trying to reassure her by demonstrating the timeline I really thought to be true. She, of course, has been devastated once again. This is certainly DDay3, and it seems like we're just piling them up.
I am truly trying to uncover all that I have done and to get my mind around it. I am fully committed to helping her heal, regardless of whether we can heal our marriage together. She asked me for two hours on the phone this morning what we texted about, and initially I really had no recollection. As we talked, and as I stared at the bills on my computer screen I started to get some sense of the scope of the conversation back, although the detail is not there enough to satisfy my wife (understandably). I am confused by not having control over my own thoughts... or my ability to recall my actions. It's like I'm watching a movie of myself and my wife, but I am unable to know what is in my head.
All of this leads me to my real question. Have any of you experienced anything like this? The inability to remember details that have been compartmentalized so deeply? I never thought I was someone who could dissociate feelings from actions like this. I've always been super sensitive and loving. This is not me. But it IS me.
I am so scared that there are more DDays to come because I cannot remember exactly what I've done. All I know is that whatever it is (and I own all of it, even if I don't have a clear memory of it all), I am determined to move past it and to get the help I need to do so.
Please let me know your thoughts. I have caused so much pain to my wife and children and my wife's family, and all I want to do is live honestly with them from here on out. But from my wife's perspective (understandably), I am just a big LIAR and am keeping the details from her intentionally. Is it possible to move forward in a situation like this?
Any help or advice would be welcome.