Some history: in 2000, the year after we got married, WH had a 1 month EA/PA(they had sex 1 time) with a married co-worker. I never knew until he chose to tell me, years later, after I had had a baby with him. He ended the affair after they had sex 1 time(he and she both said), realizing it was a huge mistake. Her husband found out, and get this, WH apologized to her BH and then allowed us to cultivate a years-long friendship with this couple, this woman was even present when I was in labor with my first child. We went camping with them, I became very good friends with her. I am not sure why he finally told me about it, I think he felt guilty and was trying to make himself feel better for his own selfish reasons.
During this same time period, WH was on the computer all time, either playing computer games or looking at porn. He would stay up all night on the computer in the other room, and close whatever window he had open when I came in. He was also pushing me away sexually. I came across a huge stash of porn by accident on the computer, and was shocked at how much of it he had saved, and at the subject matter. I asked him to leave for a week while I thought it over(didn't know about the affair at this point.) End result, we went to a few IC sessions and MC sessions, and he tried to get the porn and game habit under control with relapses and successes.
Fast forward to 2004, things were better, we moved to a different state and had a 1 year old child and out of the blue he tells me about his affair in 2000. I was blindsided but, in a nutshell, decided that I didn't want to throw everything away and I wanted to get on with our life together(rugsweeping - I know that now). So, that is what we did.
Well, about a year ago, I started really struggling with triggers and suspicion of my WH. I thought it was because a couple we were close to were dealing with the wife's multiple infidelities and then a bitter divorce, and it was triggering me. Little did I know that my gut was actually telling me that my husband was doing wrong by me. At times through the year of his most recent affair, I would break down, trigger, be so upset, and he would always make me feel like I was crazy, making a mountain out of a molehill. I remember several times where he told me he would NEVER cheat on me again, and he was so very sorry he had caused me to worry in the first place. All while his affair was in full-swing.
He lied, lied, lied over and over. He became angry, completely detached from our family, ignored the children, did nothing around the house except sit and use his tablet and start angry arguments, and only showed motivation when it was time to go back to work(he works 3 12-hour night shifts in a row per week.) When I finally confronted him, he lied until he was cornered, then admitted it.
I have been a wreck most days. I had 2 weeks where I could not eat, could not sleep more than 2 hours at a time, cried all the time, and on top of this the kids and I were all sick. Another 2 weeks or so of numbness, and now alternating sadness/anger/disbelief.
Our marriage wasn't great before the affair, and we have always been a bit sexually mismatched (me lower desire, him higher), but I didn't think it was that bad, there was love, friendship, and the knowledge that life would get much better as the kids got older, or so I thought.
He answers the "why" question by saying he told me over and over that he was unsatisfied sexually, and finally couldn't take it anymore and decided to deal with that part of his needs on his own by having an affair. He says he wanted to stay married, and the affair allowed him to!!!!! I am so lost, so angry, so hurt, just in utter disbelief, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
I don't trust him, I don't trust myself. I do love my husband, I believe he does love me but is BROKEN, perhaps irredeemably.
I have been to 2 IC sessions, he is scheduled for IC also. He says he is sorry, has been doing most of what I ask him to do(we sent an immediate NC email together, he is selling the car they had sex in, listening to me, answering questions) and we have been having a lot of conversation about what happened and why. Unbelievably, I feel he is actually surprised at the extent of my pain. He says that though he felt love for the MOW(but not like for ME of course, for God's sake) it's nothing but guilt now. He cries and asks me to stay and says he is "all-in".
But at the core of things, I feel he blames ME for his cheating because he wasn't getting his sexual needs met; and though I don't trust anything right now, I do know beyond any doubt that I WILL NOT take responsibility for his affair. It's what I keep holding onto. That, and spending time with my kids, is the only things keeping me upright most days.
I know this is a long post, and if you made it to the end, thank you. Can anyone tell me what helped them get through the early days? I still feel so shocked, and so very much at a loss about what to do next. Any kind words are appreciated.
[This message edited by iwillNOT at 9:01 PM, September 8th (Sunday)]
So sorry this is happening to you.
I am wondering if you wouldn't mind editing your post and breaking it up into paragraphs. It was hard to read the way it is presented right now, and I want to make sure your post gets the attention it deserves.
How to get through the early days? That's tough, because I think we all think we won't make it through and just barely hang on the first few days. Just remember, you don't have to make any decisions right now. You need time to think and reflect and you are entitled to it.
Make sure you drink a lot of water and remember to eat. Also read the 180 in the Healing Library that may help you with some of the things you should be doing right now. Keep posting and reading here. You will find some comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
There is no excuse for what he did. Yes, I do understand what he is saying that sex is one of his love languages (5 Languages of love) but it does not give him a license to cheat. So don't think this is your fault. This is his doing, and hopefully he will step up and stop passing the buck and accept responsibility.
I cannot offer an opinion as our situations are different, but I can tell you to take things one day at a time and when you're having a bad day take each hour at a time.
Most important is to take care of yourself. Eat, try sleeping, spending time BUSY to help you survive and breathe.
His actions will help you make your decision.
Good luck to you. (((Hug)))
at the core of things, I feel he blames ME for his cheating because he wasn't getting his sexual needs met;
Score another one for the bullshit team!
He picked that one because you keep the floors clean and the dishes washed I bet. Right?
(Yes. We have heard those as excuses.)
What's underneath his behavior is self-medicating, serial-adultery type stuff, sex-addict type stuff...using sex to comfort himself for some loss, some pain within him...immature coping skills. One A didn't medicate him enough (that's the problem with these types of things) - he had to have another.
That's on him. The A has nothing to do with you, the floors, the dishes, or the sex.
What helped me most was discovering the map. The roadmap to healing. Right here on SI.
You want to know where you're going and how to get there, right?
- read the Healing Library
- do you want to offer the gift of R (Reconciliation) to this schmuck?
For R you need 4 things:
- No Contact
He has got to do most of the work. Not you.
Don't have that?
Ok. Start consulting with D attorneys (L's)
There's your map.
I'd say get to a L anyway - to know your rights, etc. anyway...knowledge is power aint it?
Power to you sister!
Have you told the OW's husband? He deserves to know as well.
Please know that none of this is your fault. None. There is never justification for cheating. There are a lot of other routes he could have taken. Communication would be a good start.
You can't manage an expectation you know nothing about.
He needs to do a deep dive and figure out why he chose to cheat and what he is going to do to fix himself to prove to you he's changed.
Actions not words.
This may seem a bit harsh, but I have never been known to mince words.
He is only all in, and trying right now because he was caught. He has shown a pattern of bad behavior, and abuse of your trust, and love. You my friend need to take some time to protect yourself. He is not sorry for what he did, just sorry he got caught.
See a lawyer, find out your rights, get your what if's answered. See a dr get STD tested sooner than later, and if you are working on R make him get tested as well.
You should also really consider telling her spouse as well. A's thrive in secrecy, blow that sucker wide open.
Keep posting, keep reading, keep strong.
I so value everyone's input. Thank you for taking the time to post and be a light in this darkness for me.