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When does it get better?

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toomanytimes posted 9/13/2013 10:57 AM

As a very private person, this is difficult. My D-day was in 2008. I have not talked to anyone about this other than my WS. I found out my WS of 16 years, (together 23 yrs at that time) who had been working away from home those last 3 years off and on, was a member of swinger websites, and every other website for dating and sex, Ashley Madison, E-Harmony, etc. He left his computer on one day and I found it all. All of it. I asked him if he needed to tell me anything. He said that he thought I had looked in his computer, that I must have and that he forgot and left it up. Said he was so sorry, but pretty much matter of fact of what he did. He had been with 3 women, period. He said try to be a single man out there and you'll see. He said that he didn't mean to hurt me, that he thought that it was okay as long as I never knew about it; because if I didn't know, then it couldn't hurt me. Apparently he had been busy seeking whomever, whenever, since he found the online world 4 years previously. He said it was the thrill or rush that he was looking for. That was it.
In shock, yet going about as if nothing was wrong as best I could with 2 small children was so difficult. I did not tell my family or anyone because I did not know what I was going to do. We were in financial duress at the time due to his business. So I read. Knowledge is supposed to give you power. Reading I thought would give me the knowledge and help I needed with my situation. It hasn't yet. I still don't understand. I know he is most likely a narcissist. Yes, he had a bad Mother. He is a serial cheater. He is highly intelligent, sometimes quiet and anti social. Charlie Harper of two and a half men, is the best personality description, but for the drinking. He can manipulate any situation. It's amazing.
It has been 5 yrs and I am still here. That's a lot of time. It seems to be getting worse for me, not better. I have told him that. Told him exactly how I feel; that sometimes I hate him so much I do not want to look at him. That there is no trust that remains. He asks me what I want him to do, and he will do it. I have told him I dont know what to do. I asked him if he thought counseling might help, and he said that he would be willing, but that we would be paying someone when we can talk about it ourselves without reservation. I think he was with alot more women, he says no. I want the truth, thinking I could get past all of this if I know the truth. Yes, I went to my gyno, got checked out immediately. Went thru all the phases: couldn't eat, lost down to 112 lbs, started closet smoking (don't know why, at least it only lasted 4 mos) and then blamed myself. And the crazy thing is, I am educated and I thought an intelligent person. I work as a professional. I am 43 now, he is 47. I am 5'5, not unattractive, always kept my figure, not into extramarital affairs but not a stick in the mud. I thought I was being the best of both; always professional when working and when necessary, but fun and always ready to get down and nasty when we could. It just didn't matter I guess.
As I read this post before submitting, I think to myself, what would I say to someone if this were their situation? You have two choices: either 1.) File for divorce, cut your losses now and try to start a new life with someone more deserving of you or 2.) Stay and deal with it. It's your choice, the ball is in your court. You control the situation. He obviously has no conscious, and haven't you ever heard not to ever expect or ask a person to change? They don't.
But the logic has not taken control of my heart. He is the only man I have ever known. It appears I have always had a problem with self esteem, as this is not his first fling, and I must be weak. Looking back, I wish I could've been the type to get mad, get crazy, scream and throw things and tell him to get away from me and end it right then. But not me. I teared up, but acted rationally. Still have not cried. And I still have a broken heart. Please help me to deal better with this and understand.

stuckforever posted 9/13/2013 13:06 PM

I'm afraid I can't tell you when it gets better because my DD happened in 2009 and I am thinking the same way you are. Looking back, I suspect my husband has probably had other affairs but I've only found out about one of them.

I cannot accept what he's done and I have reconciled myself to that but I am scared to kick him out. I think I am way too dependent on him. He has always been a good husband in the way that he does help me with everything around the house and goes to doctors appointments with me, etc. I have forgiven him but see him as a broken man. Not the person I married and I can't fix him...only he can do that.

He said the same thing as your WH about MC. Why spend the money? I currently suspect he is up to something else but now I don't even trust my own intuition because I am all screwed up with the issue of trust. I don't trust anyone. And probably never will.

He sleeps with his phone beside him on the nightstand and I am even too scared to check it in the middle of the night while he's sleeping. It lights up the whole room and I can't figure out how to access it without him waking up.

I am a very private person too and it has taken me 5 years to even post on here. My sister is the only other one that knows because I do not have any other friends. (sad I know).

I just wanted you to know that others are out here who are just like you. I am still in limbo....

[This message edited by stuckforever at 1:08 PM, September 13th (Friday)]

Skan posted 9/13/2013 16:56 PM

Welcome here. Actually, welcome both toomanytimes and stuckforever. I'm glad that you found us for support. It's rather a sad comment, isn't it, when you have to come to an anonymous site for support because you cannot trust the one person that you SHOULD be able to trust, to help you through being gutted and left to bleed out and die.

When does it get better?

When you say enough. Simple question, simple answer. Complicated actions. But true. When YOU say enough.

What is the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over, and over, and over again, and expecting a different result. You are right YOU control the circumstances. What do you need to do that is best for YOU?

Please understand the bigger picture. This is it. This is your life. You're not going to get another chance. This isn't a dress rehearsal this is it. The life you live now, is the only one you're going to get. Do you want to live that life authentically, with grace and honor, becoming the women that you aspire to, or do you want to live downtrodden, in shame and pain, trying to figure out how you can survive from moment to moment.

Your choice. Hard, but true. Please look inside of yourselves. There is SO MUCH MORE to you than you have presented here and the cardboard, warped images that your lying WHs have shown to you.

This is your one shot at life. Live, and even more, thrive. (((hugs)))

toomanytimes posted 9/13/2013 17:51 PM

Thank you for responding stuckforever. I'm so sorry that you are going through this as I am - I really thought I was the only person in the world who is in limbo deciding what to do after such a long time. My WH "cheated" on me while dating. We dated for 7 years prior to getting married. I knew then how he was and what he was capable of. Should've ran but I didn't. I was so totally amazed by his intelligence and ability to do anything. He then had an A after we were married about 4 yrs with a woman he worked with. Ever heard "lie 'till you die" ? That's his motto. I knew something was going on-women always know. When I mentioned the Ow and asked if something was going on, he got very defensive and angry. He would ask me why I would dream up such things and didn't I know he could never do anything like that?

I cannot after all these years forget that one particular day that I was so upset over the Ow that I was crying and asking him what was going on and why was he not telling me, and he cupped my face with his hands and looked me right in the eyes and told me that he could NEVER do anything like that to me and that he promised me nothing was going on. I really wanted to believe him. Not long after, another woman in his office told me something had to be going on between the two. So, I got my nerve up and I asked the Ow if we could meet and talk. Amazingly, she agreed. We met up and I asked her why she was blackmailing my husband and why she was making him see her or that she would tell management that he was sexually harassing her and get him fired? (all of this totally made up by me) She then spilled it all, she said it was totally consensual between the two and she was not making him do anything and that he had been unhappy in our marriage and wanted children but that I didn't want any yet and other junk.

That evening I informed my husband that I talked to this Ow and how dare he make her see him or he was going to fire her. I asked him how he could ever do anyone like that and hold someone's position over their head like that? (totally untrue) He said "She said what?" The man became livid, he was so angry. He could not believe someone would say that of HIM. (The narcissist in him) He then spilled it all to me and told me everything about the A. Oh yes he did. He called the Ow husband right then and my husband and I met up with him and my husband told him all about their consensual A. I was sorry for involving the Ow spouse, it was not intended. Nonetheless the Ow was not at work the next day or ever.
See, until it is put right in their face, and they can't lie anymore, they will lie. I trapped him and that is the only way the A came out. I hated him for the deceit, making me feel like I was crazy and the trust that was gone. Again. That almost killed me.

Then after reconciliation and gaining some trust back, 13 yrs later it happens again. And it's worse than I ever dreamed. Thinking you are both working so hard to make his business work (and remember I was also working full time outside the home at my own work) then find out about the "other" life he had. I saw on his computer where he was chatting to these people at all hours. He really is all about him. If I thought now that he had time to see anyone, or if there were time when I didn't know where he was, at this point I would end it. He could've contracted std's and given to me. That just makes me sick to even think about it. I can say this, that everyone has their limit and I think that even I have a limit now, and he knows it. I will also say he has been basically perfect since I found out about all of this. So he is not stupid. I read where I think it was Ann Landers, when asked by a woman if she should stay with her cheating husband, told the reader "you have to ask yourself, are you better off with him or without him". Right now I am better off with him. Like you, he is so great with our children and helps so much with them and in our home. That helps me. You know, he would be the person I used to think he was-just an awesome individual and almost perfect, if he just didn't believe in free lovin.
This has unfortunately affected pretty much every aspect of my life. Like you, I do not trust anyone. If I ever did split from my WH, I pity the poor soul that gets me next-I'm afraid I am damaged.

toomanytimes posted 9/13/2013 18:27 PM

You are amazing. Thank you for making a difference in my day. I feel so lucky to have found this site and had the courage to join. Your words were very encouraging and very true. I have been alone with this so long, thank you so much.

stuckforever posted 9/17/2013 15:57 PM

toomanytimes, OMG!! My husband did the same thing with the 'cupping my face in his hands' and saying he would "NEVER' do that to me. Liar, liar, liar. That's all I see him as anymore. I wonder sometimes if the lying is my bigger problem with this than even the cheating is. I think that might be the case. I absolutely despise lying. Always have. And now it seems like I've been married to the King of liars for 30 years!

I thought our R was going very well. Then I find out that he's lying to me by omission. He never stopped contact with her like he said he did. And she was floating along not suffering any consequences. She even got married. SO...after this last business trip to my husbands place of employment, I called HER husband of about 1 year and told him everything. Now I'm waiting to hear of the fallout. I'm not happy about having to do that to someone else but he needed to know.

Skan, thank you for the encouragement. It helps so much to have others that understand!

toomanytimes posted 9/18/2013 14:00 PM

Stuckforever, great point. I do believe the lying is worse for me also and I know it has played a major role in preventing the rebuilding of my trust.

If he were able to look me in the eyes and lie to me so sincerely, just what is he capable of?

And, I am in total agreement about telling the Ow husband. Previously, in my situation, I regretted the OWh finding out; but, now I firmly believe that they should know.

Sorry, Monday was a good day; today is not. Please just allow me to type. I keep telling myself, I will survive. I have not wasted twenty-something years of my life, or all of my adult life, with him. I have created 2 amazing little people that are my everything. So unaware of their parents situation, they are being instilled with morals, values and compassion for others.

I am not alone, there are too many other people; women and men alike that are dealing with lies, deceit and broken hearts. Alot are dealing with things much worse than I. We all will make it. I realize that. I want to somehow erase the pain he has caused me - erase the knowledge of what he has done from my memory, make all of that just go away and let my life be as it once was.

What I wouldn't do to still be naive and gullible.

Naive to think that when you marry someone, it is for life-thru the good and the bad, no matter what. Because that's what he said. That his word is his word and once committed to something or someone he would always be committed. Not that "a marriage license is just a piece of paper you sign, it doesn't mean anything anyway. It changes nothing." No, he could never have thought like that much less actually said that to me.

Naive to think that while I'm 8 months pregnant with his child, that was so hard to conceive, that he could never be online seeking sex with whomever he could and meeting up with women. That could never be.

Naive to think that the day my Mom was dying with cancer and I needed him with me so very badly, and he had to wait one more day before coming home because he was waiting on that new contract to come through to keep his business ongoing to take care of his family. I understood his reasoning, and respected it. Not that there was never a potential contract and he was online with swingers while we were talking and he was seeking sex all night. That could never in a million years happen. Never.

Gullible enough to believe every damn word he said, because I trusted him with all my heart, being and soul. He was my soulmate that I was so lucky to have found as a young teenager.

Ignorance was bliss.

pewpewpew posted 9/18/2013 14:16 PM

Hugs to the both of you.

Gently - You do know that sometimes the A is a deal breaker right? And that's ok.
The A, the lying, the betrayal - sometimes the BS cannot forgive nor move past it.

Have you thought about S or D?

momwith2boys posted 9/18/2013 14:20 PM

Yes I tell WH all the time that I wish I could be hypnotized or have some of my memory erased so that I didn't know. Ignorance is bliss! I was happy before this happen.
And WH has looked me in the eye, swore on our children's lives and still lied to me. It is hard to trust someone after they can do that to you. He was someone that I thought would always be there for me and protect me from getting hurt, not cause it!!

Gr8Lady posted 9/19/2013 18:00 PM

I call this "being frozen". Believe me I have suffered this ailment. Boundaries, saying Enough....wish I knew. I can call it perfectly on other people but can't for myself.
I can walk away from inappropriate work situations, friend situation but come back to Wh We live apart, at this point but it is love/ hate. We are as different as night and day but I have 35 years invested children etc with sad as it sounds, my greatest fear is no one will love and care for him as I do. If he feels the same, he has only now realized it. I don't trust him.
If someone has the answer please clue me in.

prissyprisi posted 9/19/2013 20:43 PM

Skan - Just so you know, I copy/pasted your post onto a sticky note on my phone so I could re-read it to myself. Amazing, beautiful words. Exactly what I needed to hear & you werent talkin to me. Thank you.

toomanytimes - it's been just four months since my DD..I cant imagine being in your shoes for so long and yet, you describe exactly what I feel. ((hugs)) It's hard to imagine ever feeling "normal" again huh? Like someone forever changed your life for the worse.

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