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loyalwoman posted 11/16/2013 12:05 PM

I almost came on here back in February, but I felt like no one had been in my situation so the reactions and feedback wouldn't be helpful. I've finally realized I do need a place to talk about things, and this was triggered by another event. I apologize in advance if I do not successfully use abbreviations. I'll pick them up with time and practice.

February 2012 my husband and I had a HUGE fight that included him saying he thought we were incompatible and would end up divorced. We separated in March 2012 (as in, he moved out). At first we had minimal contact, but it gradually increased. We started going to marriage counseling in November or December 2012, with the promise only to try to figure out if we wanted to work on fixing the relationship.

In early February of this year, I discovered that he was carrying on a relationship with another woman for about a month, one he'd met through an online dating site. He'd also gone on dates with a couple other women and took a female friend to this big fancy event his company has every year after promising me he would not go. I believe him that the only sexual relationship he had was with the month-long Op. At that time, even in therapy, he was saying that he was not in a relationship, meaning he wasn't seeing himself as being with me. I confronted, he admitted, we talked A LOT about it. He blocked her phone numbers (in front of me, his idea). He cut off contact with her and also deleted his online dating profile.

We continued MC, worked on building trust, reconnecting, etc. Progress stalled and stayed that way. In August, I returned from a trip and he told me that he thought he was done trying. We went to MC and ended up agreeing to try a "real" separation without much contact, but with the agreement that sex with anyone else was off-limits. We started off talking once a week, then it slowly increased, then we saw each other and kept seeing each other more frequently. Recently it's been about once every two weeks that we see each other. I know I'm leaving out a LOT, but this is already so long.

Tuesday evening he came over and told me that he tested positive for chlamydia. About a month and a half ago, he went out after work and was trashed. He ended up receiving oral sex from a random woman at the bar (in the back of her car). I'm devastated. Among other things, I've always been safe and been the "good girl" and done as much right as I could and now I probably have an STD. I got a full panel done and received the results for everything but chlamydia & gonorrhea. My Dr's office won't prescribe an antibiotic unless I test positive for chlamydia, even though I know I've been exposed. The crap I've gone through with my Dr's office is adding to the trauma right now.

Somehow this feels worse. Before, it was planned, thought through. This was acting on drunken impulse. Now I wonder if I could ever trust him again. How could I see him head out for a guys' night and trust that he won't get sucked off in some random chick's car? Could he ever go on a trip with "the guys" and be trustworthy? I mean, I know I don't need to answer these now, but they're the thoughts in my head.

Both times he was just about done with the marriage. This last time the only reason we were trying a separation is because he couldn't answer the therapist with "divorce" when she asked what the next step was, since he was done.

He's in individual therapy and has been for a couple of months. He's actually starting to dig into the deeper issues. He admitted to me that he's probably depressed and I told him he has been for years. He's seeing all the ways he's been a terrible partner even before the separation and cheating. He's seeing even more how good a partner and person I've been. I keep hearing "I don't deserve you" and while maybe he doesn't, that's not helpful.

He truly appears remorseful, but is so scared to try to work on the marriage because of issues that led to us separating. He's been in frequent contact, is answering all my rants and questions even if it's just to acknowledge that he read but cannot yet respond. He knows he hurt me terribly and is working on why with his therapist. I do believe him. I had a sense when he was cheating the last time and I had a sense this time, but this time I dismissed it as paranoia. Now I'm reminded about trusting your gut.

I'm sorry this is so long and rambly, clearly I needed to get it all out. A cup of coffee, tea, or hot cocoa (or something stronger) if you got all the way through it.

Pippy posted 11/16/2013 13:07 PM

I'm so sorry you are living this nightmare. I completely get the trust issues. It's like it's great for the honeymoon period of R, but then there's still that elephant in the room. Whenever he is out somwhere it appears - can I trust him? That was one of the reasons I didn't R ( plus he wasn't interested in it anyway). I didn't want to live like that, always wondering...

He has broken the trust so many times. And now you still are no further ahead with the trust thing. To be truthful, I feel he doesn't want to say the D word until he finds a new OP. He using you to fill in time. Cake eating. Sorry Hon. But you deserve so much better.

loyalwoman posted 11/16/2013 13:41 PM

Pippy, that may be true. He may be just hanging on to me until he finds something better. I might be doing the same.

What I've felt, which is hard to explain because it's not coming from an identifiable source, is that he's been depressed for years, and that he realizes how badly he treated me even before separation and infidelity (absorbed in video games, not present in our marriage), and that he's scared that if he decides to commit to trying to work on this that I'll decide to leave and then he'll be the devastated one. I also notice that when we're relaxed around one another, the connection is there and it's easy and as amazing as it always was. It's when one of us starts overthinking the "shoulds" that it gets messy again.

What I've been afraid of is people saying I should just leave. I still love him and part of me wants to try R, but part of me wants to just live on my own, without any man in my life. I know that the connection between us is still strong. But the trust is not there. I don't feel like I can really make a decision yet. And I'm scared that everyone will think I'm weak or stupid or both because of it.

Alpine72 posted 11/16/2013 14:07 PM

my husband also suffers from depression- BUT hes also a grown man and knows right from wrong! I just recently found out about his infidelity (last week) and I want to wring his neck. He's sorry and remorseful but I will never be able to trust him w his selfish compulsive behavior.
Hugs to you and I hope you find some strength to just leave him! Especially if the two of you have no children. Don't be a second choice for anyone!!

loyalwoman posted 11/16/2013 14:29 PM

I'll be honest, I'm not ready to hear the "just leave him" stuff. I don't know if that's what I want or not.

I realized I was hoping to hear that it was okay to not know what I want to do yet. I may leave him. I may not. Maybe I wasn't ready to post yet. I wanted support, not to feel like an idiot for not leaving him yet.

HurtButHopeful? posted 11/16/2013 15:02 PM

he's scared that if he decides to commit to trying to work on this that I'll decide to leave and then he'll be the devastated one.
From what I've read here and other places, S and D are painful for both people, no matter who initiates it. The only factor that makes it less painful for one person is if they are already in an A and are in unicorn land in luuuurve. If that really is his mindset, then he will always have someone waiting in the wings, just in case. At some point,he needs to grow up, and realize that real, mature love requires commitment, and risk. All you can do is trust each other's words. You aren't the one who cheated, so he need not entertain the thought that you will find someone else and leave him before you let him know you no longer wish to be M to him. You are the one who is taking the bigger risk. He found someone, more than just one, before he informed you he wanted out of the M. That was not fair to you, and has taught you that he takes things out of order. It is up to him to take the time to prove to you that he is not that person, anymore.

He needs to understand that if he does his very, very best to fix himself, and make sure you feel loved and secure in the M, chances are very low that you are going to just up and leave one day.

I can really make a decision yet. And I'm scared that everyone will think I'm weak or stupid or both because of it.
Oh, honey. No one here will think you are weak, or stupid. Those of us who came here and are M, still love our spouses, even though we were (and are) terribly hurt. We know the conflicting feelings a BS has, and that betrayal does not immediately erase the love and longing for connection and reconciliation. People may tell you that they would recommend that you DTG (Divorce That Guy) but at the same time, they know that you are living your life, know your heart and how much you can take, and that you are the one who makes the final decision.

No one is going to ridicule you here, it is actually against the rules for SI. If they do, the Mods and Admins. will step in and tell them to stop, even ban them if they don't quit.


A big cyber hug for you (((((loyalwoman)))))

loyalwoman posted 11/16/2013 15:19 PM

Thank you HBH, that brought me to tears.

Just a point of clarification, which is what has made this extra weird to sort through: we were already separated before he found anyone else. We had 11 years of faithfulness built up before this last year.

I make no excuses for him, but I do seek to understand because that's my nature and part of what I do for a living. I mentioned him being depressed because I was relieved to hear him finally acknowledge it. He said that this drunken mistake (bad choice, truly) and the aftermath is the worst he's ever felt. There are two other times that have been terrible, and during one of those I know he thought of suicide. I see that the feelings aren't just guilt, but more so him wanting to understand why he's made such self-destructive choices and feeling terrible for hurting me and risking my safety this way. So there are factors on both sides of the scales, but I'm not ready to release the lock and see how it balances yet.

loyalwoman posted 11/16/2013 15:21 PM

Also, not sure that I can quote properly, but this:

He needs to understand that if he does his very, very best to fix himself, and make sure you feel loved and secure in the M, chances are very low that you are going to just up and leave one day.

is so powerful. I may say something like that to him in the future if it goes that way. Thank you.

cissi posted 11/16/2013 16:22 PM

It sounds as if your husband may have that thing where he will sabotage his happiness one way or another because subconsciously he either feels he doesn't deserve to be happy, or he feels like he is going to be left sooner or later and this will be his defense against that - same as the first example, really. That's something HE has to work through and if he doesn't, it will be hard for you to stay with him living like that. But, you say you had been happy for 11 years prior to this, right? So, what changed? What dramatic event happened in his life 11 years after you were together? Death of a parent, loss of his career, anything like that?

loyalwoman posted 11/16/2013 16:38 PM

cissi, there were little things along the way. We started dating February 2001, married October 2007. We weren't necessarily always happy, but we were faithful.

I think what happened was increased stress with work (for both of us), increased expectations from me, increased financial stress for him (the time he contemplated suicide), him feeling like a failure, sexual rejection from all built up a little at a time until he couldn't take it any more. The night we had a huge fight was because I was asking for support after a particularly rough day and he couldn't provide it. His mother was/is emotionally abusive and there was quite a bit of drama from his parents in the year before the separation because of him trying to set healthy boundaries with them. I know his mother blamed me for causing problems and tried to say I hated his family.

Gah, it all makes things sound so terrible. During our time in MC, we did learn to communicate better. I agree that his feelings of not being good enough lead him to sabotage his happiness. I've been telling him things like that and since he's been in IC, he's actually listening and tells me he's taking it to his therapist to talk about. In the past (before infidelity) he would get defensive. In the past he would give everyone else the benefit of the doubt before me. In the past he saw what I didn't do. Now he sees the why behind it and sees that those times he judged me harshly he was wrong (his words, from our conversations this week).

annb posted 11/16/2013 16:47 PM

Hi, loyalwoman, I'm so sorry you find yourself here.

You do not have to make any hasty decisions, your timing is your own, but what I see here is that you have been living in limboland for almost two years already. IMO, this is like emotional torture not knowing from day-to-day what path your life is taking.

Understand that even when he figures out his issues, trust will still be a huge question for years to come. It has to be earned, and it doesn't return easily. Do you think he is willing or healthy enough to put the effort into rebuilding your marriage? It is a long, tough emotional roller coaster, and certainly not for the faint of heart. A marathon, not a sprint.


OakStreet posted 11/16/2013 17:33 PM

Hi loyalwoman! I am also fairly new to this site and was also discouraged by a lot of advice to leave my WH. Although I suppose that could still happen, I am seeing an IC (individual counselor)for my second visit this week, WH is going to an IC this week, which will evolve into Marriage Counseling.

I WANT things to return to "normal"(as far as that can go after this betrayal), but time will tell. I think there is a lot of good advice here (such as The 180) and it sure does help to vent!

loyalwoman posted 11/16/2013 17:36 PM

annb, I'm not sure yet. It's been less than a week since I found out and, as I know from past experience, I have a ways to go on the roller coaster.

One thing that lends me a speck of hope is his involvement in IC. He's gone before, but has never truly committed to it, or just hasn't been able to really dig into issues. Well now he is. He is digging in. One thing was that I did let him stay over Tuesday night (no sex at all). He asked permission for everything he did, even putting his arm around me or hugging me, as I receive a great deal of comfort from physical touch. The next morning he was checking e-mails on his phone and it seemed he closed one quickly. I said something to him and he immediately pulled it back up for me to see. I could see it was the same one, so no subterfuge. I have asked him to think about how he could possibly go about working to earn back my trust, I am asking him to think about things and then tell me. His thoughts and actions now will play a huge part.

I know the limbo of almost 2 years has been hell for me and those who love me. I also know that what I've been seeing is different in some positive ways recently. It remains to be seen if he has the constitution to face his mistakes and try to repair the damage or if he just wants to tuck tail and run. I will be watching his actions to help my decision.

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