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He is no longer the man I once knew

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BetrayedAndJaded posted 9/19/2013 11:16 AM

I am so happy I found this site. I am having a horrible time coping with the very recent developments in my marriage, and I have absolutely no one to talk to. Not even my own husband.

A little back story about us.
We were both married to other people once before. I divorced my first husband after the revelation that he was a porn/sex addict, and was soliciting sex online on Craigslist. He refused counseling, refused that he had a problem, so after five years, I finally got the strength to leave him. I took our young daughter with me, and never looked back. I have full physical custody, and he gets visitation during the summer and Christmas break.

My husband divorced his first wife after discovering that she had multiple physical affairs while he was deployed to Iraq. Thankfully they have no children together.

I have known my husband for almost 15 years. We went to high school together, and were great friends. Once we were both divorced from our first spouses, we told each other about how we had a crush on each other in high school. We considered the idea of dating each other, but first we went through the typical preliminary screenings. Are you religious? What opinions do you have on pornography? How many people have you slept with, etc. After just getting out of bad marriages, neither of us were willing to risk our time or our hearts on someone that did not meet the criteria of the ideal partner.

We BOTH MUTUALLY agreed, that pornography IS CHEATING. Being that we both come from a Christian background, we were on the same page about porn, friends of the opposite sex, etc. It sounded like we were perfect for each other. Both traditional, conservative, southern people with good Christian values and morals.

We began dating, and things went perfectly. We eventually married down the road, and just celebrated our two year anniversary on Sept. 10th. He has been a wonderful man, husband, provider, and stepfather to my daughter. We shared with each other how we both felt that we had finally found the one person who could heal the wounds caused by our ex spouses. How we finally had a new lease on life. How we felt that we were meant to be together from the very beginning.

Now, fast forward to February of this year. My husband and I discussed an opportunity that was presented to him- to take a welding contract overseas in Afghanistan, for one year, for a hefty sum of money. I, of course, had my reservations about this, but he persisted. He was adamant that it would be the answer to our financial needs. We would finally be able to pay off our debt, have a substantial amount of money in savings, and finally be able to buy a home together. I reluctantly agreed. I knew it would be hard with him gone for a year, but I am a strong woman, and would be able to hold down the homefront and take care of business with him gone. I tried to minimize my fears by rationalizing that during THIS deployment, he wouldn't be on the front lines of the war. He would be on base, as a contractor, working seven days a week, 12 hour days, and much safer than his other deployments. Not to mention that we would be able to talk to each other every day by phone, email, skype, etc.

Before he left, we had "the talk". The one about porn being so prevalent over there, and my fears of him physically cheating and looking at porn, and his fears of me being lonely and finding comfort in another man like his ex wife did. We assured each other that neither of us had anything to worry about. Things will be fine, and he will be home soon.

He deployed on Feb 10th, 2013. I still remember the night before I drove him to the airport. We made love and I cried and begged him not to leave. It cut me to the quick.

A few weeks after he made it to Afghanistan, we had finally gotten into a routine. I knew when to expect a phone call from him. I kept myself busy with my daughter, got a gym membership, and began the journey of self-improvement. I told myself that I wanted to be in the best shape of my life for him and myself when he got home.

Then one day, he told me that he was getting frustrated with the phone system there. That he wanted me to send him a cell phone so that he could buy a local SIM card and phone card so that he could call me whenever he wanted and wouldn't have to walk all the way to the USO office and wait in line behind all the soldiers to use the phone. I understood, and thus began my mission to find a better way for us to keep in touch. We decided that the best way, was an iPod touch. It has all the capabilities of an iPhone, without the calling features. That was fine, because it had WiFi connectivity. He would be able to sit in his bunk in his tent, and talk to me via facebook, email, skype, and make VoIP calls to me using apps like Viber and Tango. It was great...until the calls started coming at more sporadic times. And he would wait until just before he was going to bed to call me, and ended up cutting the conversation short because he was tired and falling asleep...then I started noticing facebook notifications after we were off the phone when he said he would be sleeping. Eventually this wore on me, and I told him how I felt that calling home was becoming less and less of a priority since he got the iPod. He of course denied this.

Needless to say, it was rough having him gone, but they cut the contract early, and he came home on June 22nd. I picked him up from the airport, and it was like we were meeting for the first time. The excitement, butterflies, anticipation. It was a wonderful feeling.

And, I WAS in the best shape of my life. I lost 20 lbs. of fat, gained 10 lbs. of lean muscle, was completely toned everywhere, and I looked smokin hot. I was excited for myself, and excited to share my accomplishments with him. My self esteem was through the roof.

Once he was home, I shared with him the fact that I looked at porn ONE TIME out of curiosity, and was completely disgusted. Now that I look back, I can't believe I even subjected myself to it. I was open and completely honest with him, and I asked him to do the same. If he looked at porn, to just tell me, and I would not be upset. He said he didn't, and got very angry with me, and told me how disappointed with me he was. He yelled at me, and made me feel like a complete piece of crap for two whole days. I apologized profusely, and promised it would never happen again. It was one time, and I never had an intent to continue to look at it. I didn't enjoy it when I saw it, and had no need/desire to see it ever again. Eventually he calmed down, and we began to move forward with our lives.

He spent the next week or so getting reintegrated at home. We went on a trip to the mountains, and visited the location where we said our vows. It was heaven. Upon our return, we began the search for a new cell phone for him. He wanted an iPhone (while he was gone I cancelled our Verizon plan and got net10 with an unlocked iPhone for myself. Much cheaper that way!) so we ordered an iPhone for him off eBay. When it came in the mail, he asked me to set it up for him. So, I did, and I backed up the new phone from the iCloud account that he was using while in Afghanistan.

What he didn't realize, is that iCloud stores EVERYTHING. I opened the web browser, and I couldn't believe what I saw. My literally felt my heart in my throat. My chest tightened up, and I became nauseated at the sight of pornography on his phone. I checked the backup date, and it was from April of this year. Basically, the day after I sent him the iPod in Afghanistan, he started surfing the net for porn.

I was livid. He cried, and said he was sorry, and gave all the typical excuses that he could give. "I didn't actually have sex with anyone. I was bored. I was lonely, etc." Now that I look back, I wasn't so mad at the porn, it was the LYING and SNEAKINESS. The fact that I opened my heart and told him that I watched it once while he was gone, and he ripped me a new one...all the while knowing in the back of his mind that he watched it every single day for four months straight.

I tried to get over it, but my curiosity got the best of me. I looked at the messages between us on Facebook, dated the day that the backup took place in April when he started watching porn over there. I then realized that April 21st, the same day he was googling images of "girls fingering themselves", I had sent him a video of myself masturbating. He told me that day that he just got done watching my video and he loves it so much...little did I know, he went online and googled girls masturbating to get some more.

I also noticed our conversations in the days and weeks after April 21st. That was about the time that I told him how I felt that him calling home was becoming less and less of a priority. Then it finally all clicked. He was calling less, and calling late, or not calling at all, because he wanted to look at porn instead of talking to his wife on the phone.

In the weeks after D-Day, more things started coming out. The fact that he looked at LESBIAN porn while he was gone. Porn is bad enough, but to watch porn that engages two women, which is an abomination, is far beyond anything I thought he was capable of doing. According to him, lesbians are gross, and against God's law, etc.

A few days later, I brought up an old subject- why he withdrew cash from our bank account for lunch one day, two years ago, instead of just swiping the card. When I saw that two years ago, I also saw that Hooters, the restaurant was searched for in his GPS. (Some might not think it's a big deal, but Hooters is a huge trigger from the infidelities in my first marriage, and my husband said he would never go there). He said that YES, two years ago, he withdrew cash from the bank account so that he could eat at Hooters without me knowing...but he drove there and parked, and decided not to eat there, and instead just went inside to use the restroom. Now that is a lie, and we both know it, but his ego and pride is too big to tell me the truth. WHAT DECEPTION! SNAKE IN THE GRASS!

A few days later, his dad invited us up to visit in Massachusetts. He said he got the pool up and running, and my husband was excited to go. Something did NOT feel right to me, for some reason. I then asked him if he had ever had sex in his dad's pool (BTW I now know to NEVER ask questions you really don't want to know the answer to). He said no, with a grin on his face (he's a horrible liar) and I called him to the carpet and confessed that yes he did. He wouldn't tell me with who, which upset me even more. According to him, when we first me, he said that he had only slept with four women including me. His ex wife was his first lover, followed by two girls he seriously dated before we got together.

Lo and behold, his number is way higher than that, and his past is peppered with one night stands- including the girl who lives across the street from his dad's house. He had sex with her in his dad's pool, and then knowing that, went to hang out with her a few years later on a trip we made up there together to visit his dad!!!

At this point, the man I thought I married, is NOT that man anymore. My reality that I was living in, was false. When I look at him now, I don't know who he is. Everything he said he was, was a lie. It's not as if I am holding him to some sort of unrealistic expectation. I am holding him to the bar that he created for HIMSELF.

If he were honest with me from the beginning, about how many women he's been with, and the Hooter's incident, and even the porn he watched overseas, I might not feel the way I do about him now. At least it would have been who he is, and the truth, and I would have loved him still the same from the very beginning. Instead, I was never given the opportunity to love him for HIM. I was tricked into loving someone that he ISN'T.

Suffice it to say, I now have ZERO trust in him. I question everything he says. Where he's going. Who he's with. If he can betray me and lie to me about something as stupid as Hooters, then WHO KNOWS what else he's hiding and lying to me about.

We have been working hard to get past this, or so I thought. After finding this site, I have come to realize that the only one working on getting past this is me.

I trigger all over the place, often, and I can't help it. And when I try to talk to him about it, he gets upset, yells at me, tells me to just "get over it", and asks why we can't just have a good day together.

Any time I hear about Afghanistan, whether on the news, or him talking about his trip there, I get upset. Any time I see a member of the armed forces, or hear the word "military", I trigger. iPhones make me trigger (which sucks because we BOTH have one) and I can't even eat a freaking MUFFIN now without wanting to puke! (one of the websites he frequented was called a retarded name for a porn site!) Pools make me trigger, anything provocative on TV makes me trigger, the mention of porn, blonde haired women, blue eyed women, short women, and lesbians...all make me trigger. (For what it's worth, I'm very tall, brown haired, and brown eyed.)

I just don't know what to do. I am in a severe depression. I stopped working out because he kept giving me back-handed comments about me going to the gym (implying that I'm going there to find another man, etc.) The house is a wreck, I'm a wreck, my marriage is a wreck, and I don't see any hope for the future if HE WON'T LET ME TALK TO HIM about it without biting my head off, or blaming me. I've gained back the weight I lost, I'm tired all the time, I've been eating like crap, and I'm just generally in a foul mood and completely miserable with what he has done to us.

Also I will add that he is a very hardened individual. He always has been, since before we even got together. The military made him that way. He does not know how to express his emotions. He does not know how to be romantic, or tell me any deep thoughts he may have (if he even has any).

The other night, while laying in bed, I asked him to tell me something nice. I expected way too much of him I guess, because what I got was "Your a pretty lady, and I love you...and you have nice eyebrows"...EYEBROWS!!! WTF dude thanks for the compliment on my fecking EYEBROWS!

I told him last night that I have some things (from this site) that I want him to read, and it will help him understand exactly what's going on in my head, why I feel the way I feel, what triggers are, etc. The response I got from him: "You know I don't read, it makes me tired and I will probably fall asleep. But okay fine, I'll read it but I can't guarantee I will be able to pay attention".


The more I type right now, the more I feel that he is a selfish, LAZY asshole that cares about nothing but himself. He has spent the last few weeks on the couch after work, watching TV or picking up that damned iPhone and looking online about survival/prepping (yes, he's one of THOSE outdoorsmen). He's doing everything he can to remove himself/ignore the situation, and it's making everything worse.

I read last night on here about the difference between guilt and remorse. It couldn't be more right, and the more I think about it, the more I realize he's not sorry he did what he did, he's sorry he got caught.


Where do I even begin to fix this?

cluless posted 9/19/2013 11:49 AM

Hi Betrayed,

I know how you are feeling, my husband was a porn addict when I met him. He would go to strip clubs and was completely disillusioned about how degrading it is to women. He would also be standing right next to me and watch a beautiful woman walk. His dad even left him an "extra" playboy magazine on his desk. He proudly showed me all the bookmarks for all the slezy websites he went to. I lost it, and I educated him real fast. I would NOT be treated that way. Unfortunately for me, I was already pregnant with our son and I had to make this work. For YEARS I watched him like a hawk. And I finally relaxed and trusted that he was NOT doing it anymore.

Through the years, as the boys "came of age" we'd have to deal with porn, and they were quickly chastised and corrected. If the boys were watching porn in this house, it was sporadic at best.

Porn is something that I've felt strongly about my entire life. Not only is it degrading to women, and most of these women are addicted to drugs and have to do whatever it takes, but it also makes us feel like shit about ourselves. It's not real, my husband didn't even know that women fake orgasms.

Our marriage has been stressed for the last 19 years, I've been very ill and I thought I had a keeper. He would be by my bedside and took care of me when I arrived home. Many points over the years, I thought I was going to die. The doctor's couldn't control the disease and I started to give up the will to live.

One last ditch effort to get my husband's attention I sneaked into his IPHONE and found texts to his girlfriend. I'm not going to rehash it all here, if you're interested, read my profile, but it turns out he had contacted his first love, and had been carrying on with her for 18 months. For a year I thought it was just an EA, but turns out it was also a PA. My heart is broken, I'm on day 19. Honey, you can get over this, you need to stop having him make this about you and really start being honest with each other. Tell him how it makes you feel, the lies, the betrayal. Don't take it personally, that he would "rather" do that than talk to you. He was caught up in it and got swept away. I'm not saying he was right because he wasn't. But you both need to get into MC ASAP. Start journaling and decide in your heart if you love this man (which it sounds like you do) and he loves you (which it sounds like he does) it's worth the effort to try.

We're with you!

Hope2B posted 9/19/2013 11:51 AM

(((((((BetrayedAndJaded))))))), I hurt for you just reading your post. Maybe some of my thought will be helpful to you.

His behavior is something that he has to own, and really, I don't know if he's capable of doing that.

He seems out of touch with the pain of another human being (his wife!), and since that other person is you, it's especially concerning that he seems to be lacking compassion.

Where do I even begin to fix this?

You cannot fix him. That has to come from him. Meanwhile, to help yourself through this, please consider individual counseling, and marriage counseling (if he will go).

Have you read about the 180? Here is a link to it:

I'm still working on dealing with the SEVEN YEARS of lies and betrayal and sneakiness and the deception of my husband having a physical affair with a skank prostitute. Who the hell did I marry almost 33 years ago? What the hell happened & how on earth did I not know??? (ummm, because I believed him & trusted him)

Your husband needs to want to make things right between you! He needs to step up to the plate and be a man in the best sense of the word, and do whatever it takes to make your marriage work because one person working on a marriage isn't going to cut it.

I can understand how the military can cause some men to compartmentalize emotions, or to damper down their feelings or emotions and not even acknowledge them, but he can also learn another way to be--if he wants to improve this situation, and if he is motivated to do so, & that motivation comes from either internal or external sources.

Spouses can be so STUPID sometimes, i.e. the compliment about your eyebrows! Perhaps you can tell him, at a non-emotional moment like when you are both in the car going to the store or something, what your expectations are about compliments. Something like "Y'know, I love hearing you tell me I'm (fill in with what you'd like him to say. This is called modeling behavior & you probably need to do this if he is that clueless).

He might indeed care nothing for anyone but himself. His behavior certainly indicates that.

Take care of yourself. Be NICE to yourself. Don't take shit from him, please.

Next time he gives you a backhanded compliment about going to the gym, do not engage him-just ignore him. Please do not "take it" when he yells at you--simply say you will not stand there and take his verbal abuse, and then walk away.

Be strong. I know how lonely it can be when there is no one you can talk with about things. I don't know if you are a church-going person, but perhaps a pastor might help?

[This message edited by Hope2B at 11:53 AM, September 19th (Thursday)]

BetrayedAndJaded posted 9/19/2013 12:38 PM

Thank you so much for responding. I really can't tell you how much this forum is helping me already.

Fortunately, he has agreed to go to counseling with me. We are religious, and would likely go to a pastor for counseling. The problem is that we moved to a new area, and don't know a single person here that could watch my daughter while we attend counseling. We also have not found a church yet, but we are working on that.

I think one thing about all of this that just stabs me in the heart, is the fact that his actions have caused me to question my own faith in the Lord.

My husband was supposed to be the one who would never hurt me. The one that I could trust with my whole heart, after having a first failed marriage.

Now that this has happened, it makes me question monogamy, and whether or not it is an unfair social concept to expect people to ignore their inner biological urges to spread their seed about the land.

I wonder if God created science, biology, and those needs to spread their seed for the sole specific purpose to test our free will and the ability to make the right decisions.

I hope that makes sense. Even as I read it, I think I sound crazy.

Sometimes I blame myself for putting him on a pedestal, and actually believing he was some sort of evolutionary anomaly, above all of these natural instincts. Then I slap myself and remind myself that, although he is only human, ulimately HE is the one in control of his actions.

I have tried to take the Christian approach to this, and remind myself that we all fall short of the grace of God, but it isn't helping.

I told him that I worry about HIS salvation, and whether we will see each other in Heaven,
and he didn't seem to bat an eye to that. It makes me question his faith as well.

Last night, I layed in bed, wide awake, my mind spinning out of control. I desperately wanted to talk to him, despite knowing that it would just piss him off and blow up in my face.

I asked "are you asleep?" No answer. (He had gone to bed less than ten minutes before me.) I asked again, and I finally got a muffled "Hmmrrrmm?" from him. I said that I wanted to talk, and his response "It's sleepy time now. I've got to get up at 5am for work. I took those sleep aid pills."

Then I said "But if we don't talk now, then we're going to go to bed mad at each other again, and you will get up for work and be gone all day, and I will be at home and yet another day goes by that we don't talk".


Usually he kisses me goodbye every morning, even if I'm still sleeping/in bed.

He hasn't done that for the past three days. He just walked out of the bedroom and shut the door.

I feel as if I am losing him. I'm afraid that this whole porn thing is going to lead to an actual affair because of the strain between us now.

Part of me wants to drive to his work today and watch him walk to his truck when his shift see if he's talking to someone. Another woman. But I'm too afraid of what I might find out.

brkn_heartd posted 9/19/2013 20:31 PM

I am so sorry you are going through this. This is not your fault and you cannot fix it. He owns this, he problem is he doesn't want to.

After my H A, I lost my job and we had to move. In the long run it was the best thing for us. However, we lost our counselor. One thing we did until we could get established was to do couples devotions nightly. That opened the door to talk and we used it for self counseling. The challenge you have, you have stated....he only regrets he got caught. I am not sure counseling of any type will help.

In my situation (and it did not involve porn) was to finally draw the line of what I would accept in our relationship. When I was able to do that, I was strong enough to move on. Some use the 180 approach to draw the line. I was personally ready for D and had our bills lined out and ready to leave before he realized the seriousness of the issue. I am afraid until you draw your line...he is not going to change. He may not anyway, but once again that is him. God does give us free will, but there are many, many who chose to remain monogamous.

Take care of yourself. The depression is normal too. It all stinks and is so hard to deal with.

BetrayedAndJaded posted 9/21/2013 07:49 AM

Well, there have been extremely positive things to report over the past few days. I told DH about this website, and how much it is helping me. I told him that there was some things I wanted him to read on here (Things that every WS needs to know).

It is a very long post, and he griped a bit before reading it. He sat down with the laptop, and huffed and puffed as he began reading. I went about my chores for a bit, and when I peeked in on him, I noticed his whole demeanor had changed. His facial expression was that of intense interest and concern. He read the whole thing, and his eyes got wider and he was definitely drawn into the post.

When he was done reading, I said thank you, and I asked if he had any thoughts about what he had just read. He said that he definitely understood more now about how I feel, why I feel the way I do, and he wants to do whatever it takes to help me heal.

The past two days have been like a dream. He has been stopping randomly to give me a hug and tell me how much he loves me. He said yesterday while hugging me that he loves how it feels to hold me in his arms. He asked yesterday if I had any bad thoughts. I admitted to just one bad thought, and he immediately and SINCERELY apologized for what he has done.

His whole mood has changed, and therefore, my mood has changed as well. He has been so positive, and happy, and it is rubbing off on me. I know we can get through this if he stays committed, and I think he knows that too. This is the most effort I have seen from him in months.

This is definitely a step in the right direction.

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