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ccw82 posted 8/5/2013 21:10 PM

I have been lurking these forums for several weeks now. I decided to type up "My Story", but thought I should solicit help as you guys seem to be an awesome community of support.

My husband was my best friend, my rock, my everything.

He had an emotional affair back in 2007 when we first started dating. I almost left him, but he assured me he would never hurt me again. He promised me I was the love of his life and proposed in 2008. Even though I was still a little unsure and hurt, I loved him very much, and so we married in 2009.

Fast-forward a few years, one beautiful son, and some awesome memories.

And then...*sigh* I caught him talking sexually online with other women in early May 2013, and when I confronted him he promised to never do it again. He did it again TWO DAYS later! So he wrote me an apology letter and again promised me that he would "never have inappropriate contact with another woman ever again".

Two weeks later he went out of state for work training and was gone for 10 days. When he returned I looked in his phone and discovered he had inappropriate "flirty" conversations with another woman in his work class. I flipped my sh*t! So I made him start writing a promissory note: if I find out that he's done anything with anyone else -- past, present, or future -- he gives up all parental rights to our one year old son (whom he worships and adores).

That's when he broke down and confessed...for most of our relationship he has been online signed up for dating websites (he "updated" one when I was in the hospital in labor with our son), hook-up websites, and trolled Craigslist looking for "fantasy". He also confessed that in 2011 he had sex with a prostitute he found on an escort website after I woke up and went to work (this was also during the time we were trying to conceive our son). That's when we realized that perhaps he has a Sex and Love Addiction, so he started attending SAA meetings. He says he's incredibly remorseful and will work every day to keep me, to show me that he really does love me.

I'm at a point where I believe he already HAS shown me just how much he "loves" me by his actions. Most recently he came out and admitted to me that ever since he and his college girlfriend broke up, he's been looking for that same standard of attractiveness in a woman, and I guess since I'm not 20 years old anymore, he wasn't fulfilled by my attractiveness. Now, I never thought I was Miss America, but I also never thought I was UNattractive or not attractive enough!

As of August 2013 we are still together *trying* to work it out, but I have to tell is hard when you're a 31 year old mom with an imperfect body, stretch marks, and don't feel that you're what your husband truly wants (especially after he's proven with his actions that he wants something "more", something "better"). He said he had unrealistic expectations because of porn and access to escort websites where he could look at and fantasize about the 20 year old form.

I ALWAYS put him on a pedastal, constantly told him he was handsome and how much I loved him. I never believed in soul-mates until I met him, and now I feel like I've let myself down for having been vulnerable to believing that stuff at all! I always put him first. I even gave up medical school for him! I side-stepped my dream of becoming a doctor so I could be a better wife to him, and give him children because that's what he said he really wanted.

The sad thing is, he's a great guy. Really, he is! Everyone that knows him just loves him. He's one of the kindest people you would ever meet. We've only told a couple of close friends and family members about this, and they wouldn't believe me unless the words came out of his mouth. And even then, it's hard to them (and even me!) to believe that it's true.

So how could he do this to me? It's so cliche...I gave him my heart and soul, and he manipulated me to get what he wanted, then took a crap all over my hopes and dreams. He says now that I am everything to him, he is totally fulfilled without the "distractions" (the porn, prostitutes, and unrealistic fantasies). But that stuff is everywhere, and so easy to access! And if I really was everything to him, why would our marriage be worth the risk for so long? It's like he's led a double life, and I don't know who this man is!

I just don't know what to do anymore. :(

pissed630 posted 8/5/2013 21:31 PM

I know exactly how you feel! My husband has many female friends which I believe some were exactly that and other relationships were inappropriate. He has many friends that he tells that he loves them (as friends), buys cards for etc. Old friends that he has known forever...I get that but some of these he has met since we've been together. I told him he shouldn't have been developing friendships with any females since we've been married unless it is on a professional basis only. I found out some of the people he told me were just friends were former lovers (but their friendships are now platonic). He never let me know the whole extent of these friendships because he thought I would forbid him from being their friends. When we get in an argument or he has a lot going on he turns to these females for comfort instead of me. I hate that so our relationship has always been strained. I've caught him on hook up websites, backpage, suspicious emails, and the latest was a physical affair with some female he met while on the job. It's like he can't get enough of having females in his life. All of his doctors are females too. He goes to IC and so do I. We tried MC but until he gets his stuff together MC means nothing. He had an alcoholic abusive mother and I believe that is where this stems from. We've also had DV issues and he is on probation now for it. It has torn me apart and I've forgiven him for the EAs but this PA is really blowing my mind. I've filed for divorce 3 different times for him to talk me out of it. This time he has exactly 90 days to get his stuff together or I'm filing and completing it. Right now I'm being less emotional and trying to work on me. When he thinks I don't care, it scares him straight. But I've also learned that when he feels like I'm acting like he does, it doesn't feel so good. You know what I mean? So that is how I've become. I'm not cheating but gaining more male friends. Is it right? Nope! But he needs to know that I am not going to let his behavior tear me apart. I've got to take care of me and my feelings now. I've had enough.

ccw82 posted 8/5/2013 21:48 PM

Thank you, pissed630! It helps to know that I'm not the only one in this situation.

My WH also has many female friends, some stemming back to college. During his "confessions" I discovered a password-protected photo app on his iPad that had a bunch of pictures from Facebook of his "friends" that he said he would fantasize to. In the app he also had pictures of random women from porn sites.

He says he's never considered himself the "best looking guy", and has had many crushes on many, many women throughout his life. Only a few have returned his advances with a date. He had one serious girlfriend in college before me, which lasted 3 years. When him and I met, I thought he was so handsome! I was over the moon for him. I told him just 3 months into our relationship that I thought I was falling in love with him, but that I was scared. He insisted I let my "wall" down, and that he loved me, too. About a month later he asked me to move in with him. He has now admitted that he wasn't 100% invested in our relationship, and at that time he didn't really love me, but rather he was enjoying being loved by me. WTF?!?! And now I learn that all along he's been fantasizing about his friends from college, plus random strangers???

His only redeeming quality right now is that he went totally NC with everything -- the porn, online sites, secret email addresses, even some of his "friends". He's told me that if I am not comfortable with a situation, he'll end it. He's already gone through and deleted almost all of those friends from Facebook, and he's totally transparent now...that I can look at his phone, iPad, home laptop, or work laptop at any time.

However, that still does not unfuck the prostitute, you know what I mean? Going forward he says he'll be the husband he should have been, and his actions these last 7 weeks have shown it, but it doesn't heal the hurt that's already been caused. How do I get over that?!?

Nature_Girl posted 8/6/2013 04:10 AM

He needs counseling.

NotsureIcan posted 8/6/2013 04:44 AM

I agree with Nature_Girl. He may even need an inpatient program. My WH used to do the porn thing until we agreed when our daughter was born that we wouldn't have it in the house. So here we are a few years later and he cheated with "the real thing" another woman that made advances at him. He obliged her because she "was enamored with him"
I told him hes an idiot, she was only enamored with the $$ she knows he makes! I also told him that I will not be married to a man that has no boundaries ( I do believe this is the only time he cheated with a woman) the boundaries get less and less over time as couples become more comfortable that they are married because they trust. But with a SA they can't lessen a boundary. It has to be as if they live in a tunnel. And get IC. They are like little boys that need attention. My WH has a 12 step program he attends, IC and MC. Although he's trying to prove being "a good boy" I will not tolerate anything less than his 100% commitment if he wants to be married to me. If I find out any little lie, he's out. And I will be crushed but I deserve better than that.
So do you.

tushnurse posted 8/6/2013 08:19 AM

Welcome ccw, I am sorry you are here.
Please know that his choices to do what he has done has NOTHING and I MEAN NOTHING to do with how you look, act, or breath. He may be telling you this, but that is not the truth...The truth here is he is at the minimum a sex addict. He also is trying to manipulate the situation, by making you feel inadequate, to justify what he has done.
It's great that he has stopped everything and is trying to behave, but like an alcoholic, he will misstep and go back to it when the opportunity presents itself.
He needs some real IC. He needs to get to the root of the why he is doing these things. Until he does that you are going to be fighting an uphill battle.

Read in the healing library, look inth I can relate forum, there are threads about SA.

(((and strength))))

cluless posted 9/24/2013 10:22 AM

I'm sorry to find you here with us. It's hard to know what to do. My situation is different, he went after his first girlfriend and wanted to see if he was still in love with her. He had an EA/PA for 18 months. I decided to try to save our marriage. This is what you HAVE to do (no if's, and's or but's.)

He needs individualized therapy. This guy has a problem and he needs to work on it. At the same time, you BOTH need to be in marriage counseling, the therapist will help you and guide you. Since he (like my husband) did these things at completely inappropriate times, that shows a certain amount of anger.

My husband typed up a contact of what he "intends" to do everyday to show me how much he loves me and has vowed he will make this up to me for the rest of our lives. I also told him that our original wedding that took place in 1998 is null and void, he did that the first time his heart and lust was with another woman. I no longer wear my wedding ring. The boy has work to do and he knows it. Will I trust him again, I highly doubt it but I'm willing to try. We've gotten much closer than we ever have, which in a sense makes this even worse.

I do love him so much and at the same time I hate him for what he has done to me and our family. Good luck!

NeverAgain2013 posted 9/24/2013 10:56 AM

I lived with a guy for three years. He was the type that constantly needed female attention to validate his low self esteem. And he got a lot of attention because just like your husband, he was a great guy - extremely handsome, warm, engaging, smart, witty, kind, and the list goes on.

But I started finding evidence of him going right back to his old ways. Funny, I never found that 'smoking' gun but found a lot of 'almost evidence.' Only an idiot would assume that he'd really and truly changed his stripes even though it seemed he had, the first year.

I knew there were a TON of things he'd been up to that I simply couldn't find the evidence for but there was so much circumstantial stuff pointing to the obvious that I kicked him out - and don't regret it to this day.

You know what? It wasn't my JOB to fix him, it was HIS job. And rather than try to fix himself and save "us" in the process, just like your husband he instead chose the sleazier (and easier) path - seeking constant female attention, the thrill of the chase or being chased, and the final conquering of countless women for another notch on the old ego belt.

He's no longer my problem and no longer my issue to "fix." Let the next victim fix him because I can't be bothered.

It's a hard lesson I learned but a valuable one - you CAN'T fix someone else.

[This message edited by NeverAgain2013 at 11:01 AM, September 24th (Tuesday)]

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