I found out last week that my husband has been having an affair with an employee he sees on business trips 1wk/month for the past 5 years! The physical contact has been supplemented with constant use of porn, sexting each other and dirty pics between the two of them. He says he tried to break it off twice in those 5 years because she wanted to take it to a more serious level and he refused. Nevertheless, it has been going on for 5 years! I swear it would be less devastating had it not gone on so long, right in front of my face.
I am so devastated by the deception, the shame and have spent days without eating or sleeping and with a constant sensation I'm going to vomit.
Since Dday, we have had long talks/fights/discussions into the night with both of us crying our eyes out.
My husband comes from a very broken home and has a history alcohol abuse in his teens. We have been married for 14 years, together for 18 and have three children.
He is as broken up as I am and says he has an addiction to sex/porn that led him down this destructive path. He has vowed to write up a contract of all that he's going to change, he has promised to seek professional help, therapy, medication, anything it takes because he doesn't want to destroy me or our family.
I don't know if he's saying these things in a moment of desperation or if there is an ounce of truth in any of it. Given his abusive family history and his previous bouts with addiction, statistics would indicate that he will relapse again...maybe not tomorrow, but someday. I truly believe it's not about the sex; there is something deeper, psychologically. And that makes this extra scary.
I love him dearly but I'm tired and scared. I don't want to put myself in a vulnerable position and just wait for him to hurt me like this again.I don't want to be part of fixing him. Help.
how sad. First, I'm REALLY glad to see that you aren't taking the blame for this. This wasn't about you, or the kind of wife you are, This is all about him and his issues.
Second, I think he has destroyed your family, and he needs to accept this. Can it be rebuilt? Yes, if you both want it, but the old family, the old life, is no more.
The recommendation is that a person wait 6 months before deciding to divorce or reconcile. This way, the option is there and the head is much clearer. However, there are those that know from the first minute that they want nothing to do with it and they want a divorce. If that is you, there is no shame in leaving. At this point, you only owe yourself a true life, and if that true life is as a divorced person, then it is.
I'm so sorry for you. The first few weeks are really horrific. Please, try to rest and drink some boost or ensure to get some nutrition. If you can't rest, your doctor will most likely prescribe some antianxiety meds for you, if you want. They do help.
It sounds like your WH has some deep issues to work through. If your marriage is to get better, he has to fix himself. It sounds like he may have a strongly addictive personality where he seeks to medicate the only way he knows how - through band-aid approaches to sooth his ego.
We all have the capacity to say "no", but I believe your WH may have never fully developed that ability to a level where he can mean it. His choices are bound by fear and confusion. A fear of and of not understanding himself and a fear of consequences indicated by his promise to do right. Confusion from not understanding his true emotional needs due to past issues and replacing them with an inflated value on sex.
He probably feels very guilty right now, but with something so longterm and noncommital I expect you may see a promise/failure cycle and find that he compartmentalizes and kees the affair separate from the marriage in his mind. You'll likely find yourself on a wild emotional roller coaster.
He probably does place a lot of value on the marriage itself as it provides the stability and normality that he needs. The issue revolves around the fact that he doesn't know how to have a truly emotionally intimate relationship with anyone (thus confuses it with gratification).
As I mentioned, he needs to take care of his issues if your marriage is to have a chance. It all depends on how deeply engrained these behaviours have become. One of the biggest obstacles is that he may be in denial with himself that he has a problem or minimizing it. You need to think about what your needs are, about what you won't tolerate, and about what you will do to remove yourself from a situation which grows too painful.
The best thing you can do is to make your expecations clear. When communicating with him, keep yourself cool, composed, and assured. Any attacking/defensiveness on your part he will likely personalise and seek another quick fix. Calm and assertive is the way. At the same time, I would focus on pointing out any issues you see with his behaviour - for example asking him how long he thinks the marriage will last if his behaviour continues.
Now, while you are trying to figure out whether or not you wish to stay in the marriage (based on what your WH gives you to work with), you may find the 180 in the Healing Library as useful tool to focus on your own needs. It is a mechanism for one to detach from a hurtful situation and take control back over their life. I also suggest consulting a lawyer to find out what your rights are, and to consult your doctor/counselor to ensure that you are at your best for what lies ahead. Focus on what you can do for yourself to be happy, get involved in your life, take care of yourself, and focus on the fact that one way or another you will make it.
This is an exceedingly difficult time and you will bounce all over emotionally. You've been tossed into a place you've never wanted to go. But, I can assure you that there is a way out and that you can redesign your life and your relationships. It's normal to feel confused and scared - that means that you are on the edge of something new. Have the faith in yourself and the courage to find it.
You're gonna be okay.
You have come to the right place.
Sometimes we come on a bit strong because we care so much and really do 'get it'. So take what suits you and skip the rest.
We are like those people watching a scary movie shouting at the screen "Don't go through that Doooooorrrrr!"
There is enough collective wisdom to help you navigate the 'pratfalls' of recovery from betrayal. We truly have BTDT (been there, done that).
We passionately want you avoid as much pain as possible.
Please take care of YOU.
This is a healthy response to this shitstorm. Don't wait for him to hurt you again. Be on guard, and please don't try to fix him...that is his job. His other very important job is to have and show remorse; to help YOU heal from his terrible choices and destructive behaviors.
Just know that we are reading and listening and we care.
((((Loli)))) hugs to you.
Never forget what is worth remembering or remember what is best forgotten.
I am going to take your advice (especially the piece about 6 months before I make any firm decisions) very seriously. I don't think I'm in the proper emotional state to make any decisions right now.
We have had another talk today and I asked every horrific detail of the 5 yr on and off again affair, to which he answered. The details were soooo unbearable but in a strange way, even though it will give me nightmares for a very long time and it turns my stomach, I feel somewhat relieved to know.
He travels an immense amount for work and I'm quite sure this is going to further complicate this initial process of trying to decide if I stay or if I go.
He specifically told me that he never spoke one word about me or even mentioned my name in her presence, no matter how much she pushed to know more details. He said this is a line he didn't want to cross.
Which leads me to believe that you are right; he completely compartementalized the affair and our marriage separately in his mind and was able to justify/manage it this way.