Just over a year ago he went for a coffee with a woman he met that he felt 'a strong connection' with. She thought they were being friends, on the coffee date she learned he was hiding the coffee from me - she called it off. (Thank god for some people's integrity.) We went through a 3rd round of MC.
All has been well for another year or so and, totally innocently, I happened upon his facebook messages. I see a woman I've never met at the top of the list and pop it open. The bottom message ended with 'sweet dreams'. So of course I read it all.
In the message he professes how he feels a connection with her and wants to go for a bike ride with her... and he suggests getting "together to discuss her 'passions" :) "
Obviously a total pickup.
I'm so furious. He swears that it was innocent and that he never intended to go for a bike ride alone with her (says he would have taken a guy friend). And she teaches a program called Passion which is a leadership course for high school kids. So he was just being funny, right?
This is the 5th time I've discovered inappropriate emails/messages with women. He says it was unconscious and he doesn't want to hurt me. He didn't realize that he was inappropriate or else he would have deleted the messages. This doesn't make me feel better - that means he cannot control himself. Like an alcoholic for female attention?
I'm really struggling. He's a good father and I don't want to tear our family and home apart. Right now I just feel numb. He has such a strong need for external validation that I don't think he'll ever 'recover' - I think my choice is to leave, or stay and accept that this crap will happen every year or so... until the kids are gone and then I will leave.
I know he loves me but it's just not enough.
I would love any insight on this or comments.
D Day 1 - Dec,2007, on a rocky road of reconciliation for 6 years with boundaries broken repeatedly.
We've agreed to boundaries, no texting women or going on dates. (duh)
Doesn't sound like he agreed at all.
And sounds like he needs to know you're serious and that you respect agreements, as well as yourself.
When he chooses to have these contacts with other women, it has nothing to do with him wanting or not wanting to hurt you. His actions are purely selfish.
The choices you have are pretty crappy as far as choices go. You're correct, if you stay, and there are no consequences, he will continue to do this. I know you don't want to tear your family apart, but his actions are tearing YOU apart, and aren't you an integral part of the family? How can your family be whole when you're torn apart?
If you decide to stay until the kids are older, please at the very least seek help to find ways to cope until you feel it's time to leave.
There's no easy choices here , and only you can make them. Whatever they are, you know SI will be here to help you through it.
You've taken him back or slapped his hands 5 times now. What is your limit? What does this teach your children? He needs to feel the wrath of you to get this through his fat head. Reality is hard, fantasy is just that, and he needs to feel his reality, yesterday. Do not back down on this. Married people don't get "special friends". He cares nothing for your feelings.
Unfortunately, I would also recommend that you be tested for STD's.
Always, tell the other BS! Always!
"It's hard to be in love when you can't tell lies"!
You are getting good advice. I would also add IC, both for you, and your H if he is serious about being a "family man". I suspect he has some serious issues.
Best of luck to you.
I think my choice is to leave, or stay and accept that this crap will happen
I agree. I think these are your only two options at this point.
Do you not think he will be a good father if you leave?
Think of what this is doing to your health, GP. This constant low-level stress with peaks of high-level stress pretty much yearly on average...that stuff kills. At best, it ruins your long-term health. I know you care about your kids and you probably want an intact family. But you - YOU - are the most important person. Don't sacrifice your health and well-being. Your kids need that.
Sounds like his boundaries are nonexistent.
Keeping this on me, I realized, a few months ago, that I didn't even know what boundaries were.
I thought I did. I posted here, talked with close friends, my IC, and my BS. I have a better idea now. I wouldn't say I'm perfect (always a work in progress), but I've really come a long way.
You've been at this a while, sounds like he has a lot more work to do!
"Your secrets keep you sick"
I think my choice is to leave, or stay and accept that this crap will happen every year or so... until the kids are gone and then I will leave.
You nailed it. You may also want to let him know you are preparing to leave because his behavior is inappropriate and unacceptable. If you tell him cool and calmly, it will send a strong message.
Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions.
He's a good father and I don't want to tear our family and home apart.
But this is not right - you aren't the one tearing your family apart. He is. Period.
I would strongly suggest that you see an IC and talk about healthy boundaries. It's much easier said than done - I still struggle with it daily. But if you want to stay in the marriage, get IC and see a lawyer. If he violates your boundaries, stick to your plan. If you don't, he'll continue to walk all over you. I can tell you that from experience. I can't remember how many DD's I've had to be honest. And it's no way to live. You deserve better
The fact that he either plays *dumb* or IS so *dumb* that he doesn't even realize that his behavior is inappropriate is scary. However, after 6 years, for him to follow that first nutty statement up with "I would have deleted them" is just 10,000 kinds of wrong.
Laying out boundaries without also having enforceable consequences won't work. You have kids. How effective is it to say "Don't do that, don't do that, stop it, I SAID stop it, knock it off, don't do that, stop it, I REALLY mean it *this* time, quit it", etc....to a kid that is doing something s/he knows isn't suppposed to be done? It's not effective at all. The kid ends up being, like, "there she goes again. What-Ever."
Enforceable, tangible consequences that you follow-up on.
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
I don't want to upset the children by kicking him out so I'm looking for another solution.
I have asked him to sign a post-nuptial agreement that says if he betrays me again, we split and I keep our assets. This way the children don't lose their home - they'll be distraught enough if we split, they don't need to lose their home too. I don't think I could cope with losing a spouse and supporting the children while having to sell the house, move, start over completely.
I got the idea from the book, "After the Affair". One WS signed a huge settlement, in the event they ever divorced, to show his intention to reconcile.
I have asked him to sign a post-nuptial agreement that says if he betrays me again, we split and I keep our assets.
You need to speak with an attorney about this. Just because he signs it doesn't mean it will stand up in court.