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I never saw it coming...

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Fireflies posted 8/7/2013 05:19 AM

Or in my rear view. My H has engaged in EAs from before we were married. He has had PAs, on and off, for 2.5 years during our marriage. I am angry, hurt, and confused. I feel completely crushed. I apologize in advance about the length of this post. I just need to get it all out.

I found out about the affairs two days ago. I was getting some documents from the glove box of one of our cars; the car he has been driving lately. His sunglasses case fell out. I picked it up and noticed it was rather heavy. I opened it and found a cell phone. A cell phone he used in carrying out his affairs. A cell phone that contains phone calls and texts between H and five OW. From the texts it became apparent he slept with two of them.

I was so angry that I went inside and immediately demanded answers. At first he was in cover-his-ass mode. He tried to deny it was his phone, claimed a coworker left it in the car. But I already read the texts. He started pleading with me not to leave him, telling me how sorry he is for what he's done and that he'll do anything to try and fix this. I told him to tell me the truth. He admitted to cheating. I left and went to a friend's house.

Yesterday, I agreed to talk. I wanted to hear everything. The first affair started out as an EA with OW1. At the time, I was in the midst of writing my doctoral dissertation and he and I were planning our wedding (which took place seven months later). He says he felt unappreciated and stressed at that point in our relationship. He never once communicated any of these feeling to me. He claims OW1 was an escape from reality; a break from stress. She gave him the attention and ego stroking he craved. Three months before our wedding he purchased a prepaid cell phone to contact her.

The EA continued for over two years. It became a PA shortly after the birth of DS1, and it continued for seven months. He claims to have only slept with her a handful of times and that he always used protection. OW1 wanted more from their relationship and broke it off.

Roughly three months later, he and OW1 reconnected and resumed their PA. It continued for another 10 months. Again, she wanted more and pulled back. He then met OW2 and had a two month EA with her. At that point he and OW1 resumed the emotional component of their affair, no sexual contact. After four months, she again broke it off.

After that break up, he met OW3-5. The affair with OW3 was a two week PA and he slept with her three times. He claims he used protection with her as well. At the end of this past July, he met OW4 & 5, talking and texting with them up to and including the day I found the phone. On Aug 1st, OW1 contacted H and he continued texting with and talking to her until I found the phone.

I am completely floored by both the number of OW and the length of time the affair with OW1 occurred. I can't even wrap my head around the fact that our marriage has never been between just the two of us. He was always emotionally and/or physically involved with someone else. I feel like he is a complete stranger. He never expressed any feelings of dissatisfaction in our relatinship nor did he tell me that he felt unappreciated.

I don't understand why he married me at all. We were only engaged when the EA with OW1 began. He could've walked away then, before adding several years or marriage and two kids into the mix.

He says he loves me and our family. That he always wanted to be with me. That the OW were just distractions, he never had any feelings for them, and they never impacted his desire to spend the rest of his life with me.

He called each of them as I sat there and told them he loves his wife and family (they all knew about me), that he screwed up big time, and wanted to fix things with me. He then told them he'd never contact them again and that they were not to contact him.
I could hear OW1 screaming at him but he just cut her off and told her he wasn't going to have any further contact with her.

He continues to apologize profusely and swears this will never happen again. I don't know if I'll ever believe him. He is begging me to at least try and give him a chance to fix this. I'm worried that we are broken beyond repair. He is getting tested for STDs ( I already did this at my routine OB appt yesterday). He says he is going to start individual counseling. He asked me to attend marriage counseling with him. I agreed to attend. I know that no matter what the ultimate outcome, he and I are going to have to co-parent our boys. Clearly, there are massive communication issues in our relationship, of which I was completely unaware. I figure that at a minimum, marriage counseling can help us communicate better so we can co-parent effectively.

I have no idea what to do. Despite everything that he has done, I still deeply love my H. I cannot picture a life without him. But I have serious doubts I will be able to get past this. The thought of him with these Ow makes me physically ill. My emotional pain is so deep and raw. It's matched only by the anger I feel towards him. I have never before felt so lost.

If you've made it through the Lifetime movie that my life has become, I thank you. I welcome any and all thoughts, support, and advice. I wish everyone else here peace during his and her journeys.

[This message edited by Fireflies at 11:24 AM, August 7th (Wednesday)]

AFrayedKnot posted 8/7/2013 06:01 AM

Welcome to SI. I am sorry for what brings you here. But you found a great place to find help. There is a lot if hope here. Whichever path you chose there are people here who have been where you are and have gotten through. Take your time and read around.

A good place to start is the Healing Library. There is a link in the yellow box on the upper left corner of the screen. There are FAQs that are full of helpful information.

There are also some great threads in this forum. They might be a few pages back:
Tactical Primer
Before you say Reconcile
Boundaries and consequences 101
AGreat Post for Newbies.

In the I Can Relate forum, there are threads specifically for long term affairs(LTA) and Multiple Affairs.

It can be so overwhelming and confusing in the beginning. Be sure to take care of yourself. Try to eat. Try to sleep. Try to exercise. Drink plenty of water.

Keep reading and posting and asking questions. You can survive this.

Fireflies posted 8/7/2013 10:50 AM

Thank you so much for your reply, Chicho. I've been going the threads you've suggested and it has really helped a lot today.

Morhurt posted 8/7/2013 11:23 AM

I'm so sorry. I don't have a ton of advice (still a newbie myself) but I wanted to extend my caring to you. My husband had a one stand (not his last) when I was pregnant with our first daughter and we had been married less than a year. That was 15 years ago (I only found out in June) and I know how you feel when you say the marriage was never just between the two of you. :(
I am 2 months out from final DDay and things are easing, it does get easier. I highly recommend IC, it's helping me so much!
Big hugs to you!

Morhurt posted 8/7/2013 11:25 AM

I just re-read your signature, pregnant! Oh man. Please be so gentle with yourself right now. It would probably be a good idea to tell your dr what you're going through.
~ sending even more hugs!

Lionne posted 8/7/2013 11:41 AM

I don't like to cyber diagnose but the issue of sex addiction should be explored. He is obviously broken somehow, unable to self validate, so he seeks it out from multiple partners while rejecting the REAL partner in his life.
And if that's the case, sex addiction isn't an excuse, EVER, merely a direction to take to make sure the behaviors never reappear.
Hugs. You will survive. Your marriage can, too, with hard work, time, patience, and total transparency, honesty, and effort on his part.

Fireflies posted 8/7/2013 11:50 AM

Thanks, Morhurt. (((Hugs)))

I know how you feel when you say the marriage was never just between the two of you. :(

This is the worst part right now. Even if he is sincere and really wants to repair our marriage, I question whether it is truly possible. We've never had an honest, open, monogamous marriage. Is there even enough of a foundation for us to build upon? I guess only time will tell. It just feels like I've been living in a sand castle and it's being washed out to sea.

I am definitely looking into IC, I know I need it!

Josephine01 posted 8/7/2013 11:51 AM

Just wanted to let you know that you have been heard. I read your story and am so sorry. Please hang with us. There are many great people here who can help.


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