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nzgirl posted 9/27/2013 16:04 PM

Feeling like an idiot...

I have, what appears to everyone, as the most wonderful caring husband, totally dedicated to his family. He can charm anyone, anywhere... It feels like his whole life is one big act and I am totally sucked in.

When we first met 7 years ago, he had been straight-up honest that he had a porn addiction. “Ok” I said, “Thank you for telling me” (I had no idea what that meant). (Hmm red flag #1?)

A year later we got engaged and I was over the moon! I kept trying to “friend” him on Facebook but he wouldn’t, saying he was never on the site... (Hmm red flag #2) When he finally did “friend” me there was absolutely no reference to me at all. Photos of parties we had been at together, photos of our friends, no photos of me, no mention of me (#3).

After being engaged for about a month, I found photos on his computer that he had taken of women on the beach, the neighbour through the trees (#4). Not to mention illegal, this was disgusting. I was wild. I got the tears and the apologies and “I have a problem” and “I love you” and “I will do anything”. We reconciled and decided to keep going.

6 months after we were married he went away for 5 months to Police College in another part of the country. I stayed at home working my behind off to pay the mortgage on a single income. 2 months into it, the phone calls stopped, the texts stopped. No letters. He was “busy”. I gave him his space because I thought he was super nervous about failing and all that would mean. He came home and we started married life together. Months later he left his phone at home one day and I checked it for the first time ever. He had a physical affair for months with another Police recruit and continued it via the phone when he returned home (#5). I got the tears and the apologies and “I have a problem” and “I love you” and “I will do anything”. We went to counselling where I begged the counsellor to help me because I was not coping AT ALL. I was beyond devastated. I felt like I was dying. The sessions were all about how I didn’t allow my husband the opportunity to express his feelings. Felt even worse after those sessions I tell you!! We reconciled and decided to keep going.

A year later I was pregnant with our first wonderful son. I checked his phone for the first time in ages and found messages from another woman arranging times to meet up (#6). He swore he was just meeting up to “exercise” with her and that nothing was going on, he just couldn’t find the way to tell me. I was wild. I got the tears and the apologies and “I have a problem” and “I love you” and “I will do anything”. We reconciled and decided to keep going.

We are now in our 5th year of marriage and have two amazing boys – 3yo and 16m. Two days ago I checked his phone for the first time in years. He has been having another physical affair for the past few months (#7). Again, I have the tears and the apologies and “I have a problem” and “I love you” and “I will do anything”.

I decided this was enough – asked him to leave, told my family everything. But now I am having second thoughts... we brought two boys into this world, shouldn’t we try to give them the best we can...

Right now, I feel so so ill. I replay every single incident over and over in my head. I am disgusted and completely utterly beyond devastated. My husband is begging me, saying he will do whatever it takes, he will fight with everything he has to save this marriage.

My family (completely devastated themselves because they LOVE him and never saw this coming) say leave him and fight it out on my own. But none of them have ever been through anything like this at all and for them, infidelity = the end. They don’t know any different.

Please, has anyone been through something similar and they actually stayed together and everything turned out ok??? Has anyone got a happy ending on this??

Believe me I know how terrible it sounds and even reading this I know I sound like a complete idiot. If you were to meet us we are both strong, charismatic, life of the party, professional types that really should have some clue. I know even discussing even the idea of reconciliation is pure insanity but I have two little boys whose whole world is their dad. I would do it for them.

Arr I feel everyone pressuring me to go one way or the other and I just don’t know what to do. Feel like crap. Would quite like to go to bed and stay there but I have to plaster a smile on my face, look after the boys, go to work...

OK now posted 9/27/2013 16:27 PM

It really doesn't sound if he is going to stop cheating; SA I suppose, but if he continues and you accept this, what kind of marriage will you have?

He wants a comfortable married life and exciting affairs on the side; he also wants you to accept this lifestyle and if you don't leave he will continue cheating, because he knows you have given up and yielded to the inevitable.

SA is a sickness; do you think he would be open to treatment as a condition of you staying in the marriage? Honestly though, how will you ever trust and respect him again?

If you stay and WS doesn't seek treatment, you will leave when the kids are in their teens. What a waste of your life and a terrible example to your kids of the importance of fidelity..

headdesk posted 9/27/2013 17:03 PM

As a mom of two, I get the fears and the desire for your kids to have a 'normal' life. I am lucky to have a very dear friend who went through this situation with her ex...she not only is an amazing and stronger person that she was then, but her kids are better rounded and are just plain awesome. If he keeps ripping the household up, he's of no use to it and he'll end up betraying your sons just as much as he is you.

Don't feel guilty. You're going to cause them so much less anguish by not forcing yourself to stay on this treadmill from hell. Big hugs. Sorry you're going through this.

megs56 posted 10/1/2013 17:06 PM

Hi nzgirl. First off, I am sorry that you are going through all of this. Hugs to you!

Your story really resonates with me and honestly scares me a little. I feel like where I am now is where you were in the beginning of your story. You can read my story here if you want -

My BF(boy friend) didn't admit an addiction to porn, but told me he watches it/likes it/needs it. Although my BF has not had a PA (that I know about) he has done a lot of online chatting/sexting/ect. My BF also had pictures of other women on his computer (although sent to him).

My BF and I are also strong, charismatic, life of the party, professional types and everyone loves him as well.

If we stay together, my BF will be leaving in April for 8 months of training in another state. That scares me so much. I am sure you can understand why. Even more so because he did most of the online/sexting stuff while he was out of the country. I feel like he will do all of that again because I am not there to catch him.

Sorry to talk a lot about my story on your post. I just wanted to say that while my story is different, I can relate to a lot of your story.

My BF also says “I have a problem” and “I love you” and “I will do anything”. But he has not put in the work. He just says he won't do it again.

I do not think you are an idiot at all! I hope you are able to do some things to take care of yourself during all of this. I can't really give you advice because I am new to all of this and I am trying to figure it all out. But I'm thinking about you and I wanted to send you some hugs!

Secrets Kept posted 10/1/2013 18:58 PM

This absolutely sucks & I am so sorry you have had to find us. But it is a great place to be so keep posting & we will be here to help all we can. need to begin the 180 immediately for your own sanity. (See the healing library for this at top of main screen)

I also agree with the other pósters that this will NOT stop if you just take him back with no consequences.

Read the healing library, then make sure to come back to us. Everyone here is GREAT at helping put & keep things in perspective & we are here for you.

nzgirl posted 10/2/2013 03:09 AM

Thank you so much for your messages! Was really hard writing but had to get it out otherwise i was going to burst and let out a whole lotta crazy :) I know you are all right... gosh I think I must be dreaming to think there could be any other way. I am currently 180-ing my behind off while i figure out what to do!

megs56 i wish i could give you some pearls of wisdom... i try and think what i should have done differently at the beginning. And i probably wouldn't have done anything different at all - I just kept thinking surely it can't happen again (!!!). i am going to send all my good thoughts out into the universe that your man bucks up his ideas, worships the ground you walk upon and keeps his bits in his pants (unless required by you) xxx

NoAnswers37 posted 10/2/2013 03:22 AM

Hi nzgirl,

I am so sorry you are here, but I am glad you have had the opportunity to let it all out to us - keep posting!!

First things first, you are NOT an idiot!! Yes there were red flags, but how were you to know it was going to happen again and again?? I think these men know exactly what we want to hear and they use it against us. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT.

We all have a limit and you posting on here shows you have reached yours - now the work really has to begin. I am glad you are doing the 180. Please also give yourself time to think about what you want out of your marriage and life. I do not think his behaviour will ever stop unless he gets serious professional help (my XBF had very similar problems to your WH...)Are you in IC?

I am so saddened that he was doing this throughout your engagement, marriage and as you welcomed your two little ones into the world.

Stay strong and we are all here for you ((hugs))

refuz2bavictim posted 10/2/2013 03:26 AM

Welcome nzgirl
Your story is really well written and I think your repetition of this phrase sums it up rather well.

“I have a problem” and “I love you” and “I will do anything”. We reconciled and decided to keep going.

Wow that's quite the hamster wheel.

I don't know what you *should* do, but I definitely think that if you do the same thing you have always done, you'll take another spin on the wheel.

If this is too much, you need to change what you do at this juncture. No one can guarantee a happy ending to this...but if you don't change something here for yourself, I think you will be experiencing a lifetime on that "I have a problem" wheel.

You will get lots of support here, while you work out a plan to get off that wheel into a healthier place for you and your kids.

tushnurse posted 10/2/2013 15:07 PM

Welcome nzgirl - I am all for R for everyone, but here is what I see, a very unproductive pattern. He cheats, you forgive, he changes nothing, he cheats again, changes nothing, you forgive. This is seriously the definition of insanity, doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

You need to wake him up with a bolt of lightening. I get wanting to have a complete family for the kids, but if you stay in the situation the way it is, you are teaching them that women are doormats, and have to just tolerate whatever is given to them. That is so untrue, and you deserve much much more.

I would strongly urge you to file for D. You don't have to go through with it, if he wakes up, but I think it may be the impetus of change that he needs. He is a SA. He has issues, until he decides to get help for those issues you are cheating yourself, and your kids from the love and respect you all deserve.

You need to throw him out, get STD tested, rely on us, family and friends, and for once put yourself, and your kids first. If you don't and you allow him to manipulate you yet again you will be in this same boat in a year, two years whenever, but you will be back to square one.

Can a M survive this, Yes. There are members here that have done it. Is it easy? No. Is D easy? No. But when this limbo you live in and have lived in for the past 7 years is plain torture. Enough. Save yourself.

((((and strength))))

nzgirl posted 10/2/2013 15:29 PM

Thank you everyone xxx This is an amazing place...

This definitely is the hamster wheel of insanity :)

My husband is definitely full of remorse - he's going to counselling, he's rediscovered the church, he's begging "let me show you, let me show you"... And I feel cold. My 3 year old was crying yesterday because my husband was a work and he wanted his daddy to hurry up and come home....
they will be so so devastated.

Have my first counselling for me this afternoon - hope this one doesn't tell me to be a better wife! Hopefully they can give some order to my thoughts.

Again, thank you for reading my novel of a story and for reaching out to me - was feeling pretty rotten and alone.

confused615 posted 10/2/2013 16:58 PM

That's not remorse. That's desperation and regret.

You dont have to file right now. You can sit and watch his actions. He can continue to do the hard work on himself,and help heal the damage done to the marriage..without living in your house.

I strongly suggest you not allow him to move back home for a few least. If he can't wait that long..he wasn't going to be faithful anyway.

RippedSoul posted 10/3/2013 08:40 AM

Nzgirl, You're husband sounds like mine, and mine is a sex addict. It doesn't excuse anything he did or does, but it might explain why he keeps doing the same things over and over again. If he IS SA, he needs help--a very specialized kind of help. He should see not just a therapist, but a CSAT (certified sex addiction therapist) if he'd like any chance of real, lasting change.

To join our "club," why don't you visit the "I Can Relate" thread and find the one for spouses of sex addicts. The first page lists lots of recommended reading and information specific to your situation with a possible sex addict. There are 39+ pages of posts, so it'll take a while to read through, but it might help you.

Good luck! And hugs.

cluless posted 10/4/2013 14:36 PM

My WH ALSO had a porn addiction, frequented strip bars, had the magazines, had all porn sites on his computer, would stand and blatantly stare at an attractive woman as she walked like he was sizing her up for his next meal and was PROUD of it when we met. After MUCH education about the degradation to women, he agreed to stop. I had so many RED flags, I could have sold them on ebay and made a fortune.

Honestly, I would have left him if I wouldn't have been pregnant with his child. We did NOT fit, the fighting, he continued to try to control me, nothing I did was ever good enough, I could NEVER give him enough sex and I just finally gave up. I have found that men that have this type of addiction has VERY low self-esteem issues. They are sure you are going to leave them and are jealous and make accusations at you. I think he wanted me to cheat or do something wrong so he could justify what he was thinking of doing to me. I don't know if he cheated until I caught him. He swears he hasn't, but who knows? Everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie.

In your case honey, MOVE on. This guy needs SERIOUS help. You did NOTHING wrong and shouldn't be subjected to his B.S. This isn't going to stop and honestly I'm all for building the R, but this is WAY out of your league. I'm sorry you've had to have your first marriage be like this. You will be much more careful in the next, watch for those red flags because they ALWAYS lead to deceit. My WH cheated with his first love, and THOUGHT he was still in-love with her. How's that feel putting up with his for 19 years? Don't make the same mistakes as I, take your dignity and walk. I wish you the VERY best.

OK now posted 10/4/2013 14:49 PM

If you forgive him and the relationship normalizes, its a good bet he will cheat again. So if you are going to keep the marriage going be prepared to accept the occasional infidelity. He can't help himself.

avicarswife posted 10/5/2013 10:28 AM

Hi nzgirl welcome from a fellow Kiwi. I'm glad you you found us.

Although your husband is saying the right things, it is the actions that are to be believed.

You know you don't have to make a decision straight away, you can take as much time as you need. Take your time. I have had pressure from people who suggest I should call it quits. I am 15 months out and still undecided on reconciling. I am watching the changes in my husband and deciding if it is enough and whether I can heal and rebuild. I have found I have to be firm and tell "well meaning" friends that it is a huge decision and I am taking my time making it. It is my life and me who will be living with consequences.

If you want to try and rebuild - outline your expectations. What are your non-negotiables? Let him prove he is worth you even thinking about trying to rebuild by his actions.

As for counsellors - they are a mixed bag. If you find one trying to suggest that this is in any way your fault - don't go back. Find another! These are choices your husband has made, he is 100% responsible for his affairs.

Make your decisions based on what is best for you! What is best for you, will ultimately be what is good for your kiddies!

[This message edited by avicarswife at 10:32 AM, October 5th (Saturday)]

megs56 posted 10/7/2013 16:52 PM

Thank you nzgirl! I appreciate your response. I hope my man bucks up and starts worshiping the ground I walk on as well! You made me smile with your last line " keeps his bits in his pants (unless required by you)" :)

How are you doing? How was your first counseling session? I hope you found a better therapist than the last one. Just wanted to stop by and let you know I'm thinking of you and wondering how you are doing. :) hugs!!

nzgirl posted 10/7/2013 19:07 PM

megs56 - thank you for your lovely msg!! and for thinking of me - I know mine is only 1 of a thousand other stories on here and was really touched that people took the time to comment on mine - let alone twice!! thank you!

i am ok. was just trying to bury myself in my boys and work and avoid having to make big decisions :) IC was better than the last one - no blaming me this time and pointed out that I have really been avoiding the "big decision" for 7 years. I came home ready to give him the boot and even asked for separation...
and then he broke down and pleaded and begged and said he'd do whatever it takes - and in that moment i wanted to believe him so badly. so back to limbo-ville. Everyone in my part of the world keeps telling me to grow a spine, have some pride etc...

i so badly want him to be the person he is saying he is going to be.

thank you avicarswife for saying its ok to take my time... i know i am annoying family and friends by not "doing anything" (by their perception) - but i feel like i am treading water like a crazy person!!

[This message edited by nzgirl at 7:08 PM, October 7th (Monday)]

nzgirl posted 10/7/2013 19:10 PM

p.s. RippedSoul - thank you for the heaps up on the "I Can Relate" posts - i think you are completely right that my husband is neck deep in SA and needs real qualified help. It was great to read all those posts

RippedSoul posted 10/8/2013 08:41 AM

You're welcome, nzgirl. We're all here to help navigate this horrible destination we've been dropped off in.

megs56 posted 10/8/2013 16:12 PM

Hi nzgirl! You are so welcome for the response! I appreciate your response as well! :) As I said in my original post, your story really resonates with me, and as a new member going through the pain of betrayal, I try to reach out to other members because I know how much that has been helpful for me!

I'm glad IC was better than the last one and I am really happy to hear that you weren't blamed this time! Ugh that made me so mad to read that you were blamed in the past by a therapist. I do understand how important it is to find the right therapist. The first one I got after all of this happened was horrible! But I really like my therapist now.

I understand about being in limbo-ville because I am there as well. So I don't have any really good advice for you, but I do understand and I am thinking about you! I did tell my boyfriend yesterday that I would not stay with him unless he went to couples counseling with me (he previously said he wouldn't go because he didn't want to), so we now have an appointment set up for next Wed and my boyfriend bought the book the 5 languages of love yesterday to work on his/our communication issues. So at least my boyfriend is finally putting in some effort.

i so badly want him to be the person he is saying he is going to be.

I feel the exact same way. Big hugs to you!

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