January 2012, I learned of my husbands 'other life'. For 12 months he had been corresponding with a young woman OS whom he met on a business trip. The frequency of said trips increased and their EA turned PA. I was devastated but motivated by shame, fear and an unwillingness to break up the family unit I chose to do the work necessary to reconcile.
Forced to re examine our marriage I realised just how unhealthy it was. Communication skills on both sides were found wanting (understatement). How could I have not seen that? How could I have thought our marriage was so wonderful? As it happens, one question lead to another and yet another...soon I was focusing on my role in this marriage breakdown. I was focusing on me. The amount of soul searching and subsequent personal growth has been long overdue. It's an ongoing process that I am pleased to be undertaking. But I digress...
May 2012, more discoveries regarding my husbands secret life. It seems that for the last 4 years he has been frequenting prostitutes interstate. So now I'm plagued with doubts about our entire 23 year marriage and our 27 year friendship. I wonder is he a SA? I deal with the tsunami of emotions and try not to forget the good times that we have shared, the good that I've seen in him. I don't want to give up hope that we can be one of the successfully R'd stories here on SI.
I ride the roller coaster and understand that this is normal. We discuss more and argue less. My husband entrusts me with his greatest secret (CSA) but makes it clear that he won't be pursuing any more IC. (He did speak with our MC on 3 occasions and does not see any benefit in continuing). As for MC, it was general and vague. It highlighted how men and women think differently and how our communication needing improving but we left after 10 sessions with more questions than answers and few tools to work with.
I acknowledge that (to the best of my knowledge) my husband has been doing his best. He immediately went NC with the AP and I understand he has never broken this. He no longer engages prostitutes and has even self regulated his workplace relationships, being very careful not to have his friendliness misconstrued as flirting. He has picked up the ball on the home front too. He is much more present as a father and more hands on with domestic duties (helps with some cooking and cleaning). He has kept any interstate travel to an absolute minimum and has not had any international travel at all. He has even stopped viewing porn (which played a bigger role in his life than I thought). I should be happy, right? He is now acting like a person in a committed relationship.
But he is not happy. He feels he is being punished. He is 'not allowed' to go out with his friends (who are not friends of the marriage), he doesn't have privacy (as he resentfully allows me to look at his mail and phone accounts). He never once viewed these things as a positive way to help strengthen my trust in him, rather he feels like a little boy being punished. When I initiate he will let me read self help books with him (he won't read them alone) and sometimes we even have a conversation following but he isn't a willing or eager participant. He won't do things if he sees no value in them, even if the value is my peace of mind. The timeline is a perfect example - never had one, never going to get one. Strangely though, even if things might be of value to him, it's still too difficult for him (I asked him to jot down what he needed to have a great marriage, what it would look like to him). Nothing.
And I am not happy. Til now I have allowed myself to continue to move my line in the sand. I am disrespecting myself. I so desperately wanted this marriage to work because I loved the man I thought was buried underneath all the shame and I didn't want my children to suffer because of our inability to get our shit together. I really wish my husband could see the value of being more open and honest with me but mostly with himself. He would have much to gain from a bit of introspection. But I can't control him, just me. I'm a bit pissed off with myself that I can't just focus on the good and continue to ride the roller coaster, just let it go round one more time. But I won't. I'm tired of that dance and I've had enough. I don't know if life is going to be better on my own but I'm willing to see. I'm not scared of being alone anymore. I know I will miss the friendship and the sex but I won't miss the feeling I get when the roller coaster takes its downward turn. I know I am worth a shot at happiness. I think I've been fair.
Sorry mods if this should be in divorce/separation I know you'll move it.