I've been in a relationship for 5 years with my WS. Our back story is pretty confusing and this is already going to be long, so i'll skip ahead.
She confessed on Monday. This was the second D-day. After months of her acting distant, asking for space, and generally being a miserable person in our relationship, she confessed the reason was she cheated on me with two different men.
The first d-day was 15-18 months ago discovered texts between her and an ex hookup buddy. At that time she swore she never cheated on me and that it was just fantasy. For some reason I believed her. I eventually forgave her for that, which was easier since i believed she never physically cheated on me. I feel ashamed for falling for that.
Over the past three months here was a ton of lying, convoluted stories and excuses to go out, and a number of nights of sleeping over at a "friends" house (who she said was female). There were deleted texts and no evidence of who she actually hung out with. Eventually I told her how much it was destroying me that every day i worried about her lying or cheating. She finally confessed that over the past three months she had slept with a work acquaintance (new guy) 3-5 times. He had convinced her she wasn't happy in our relationship. The last time she cheated with him was 3 weeks ago. She also admitted that last year she DID cheat on me with her ex (two physical events).
My WS's own personal issue are the main thing making this complicated and making me unsure of how to feel.
1. We grew up very religious and marriage was paramount and sacred. Her parents were one of the few i know who divorced. She has always had self-hatred/confidence issues cause of this. Neither of us are religious now.
2. She was an alcoholic. She isn't a person who likes discussing feelings and she used alcohol to avoid dealing with things.
3. When i discovered the texting last year, she also admitted that she lost her virginity through rape. One night she woke up to her boyfriend (first one she had any physical relationship with) having sex with her after she had passed out from smoking weed.
We have talked a lot since monday and have told a counselor (who we were already seeing because of her being depressed and distant). We made some realizations:
1. The As always occurred around events where we were making serious commitments to each other. The recent one started around when we got legally married (for insurance, we were planning a wedding). The second happened around when I proposed to her last year. She isn't sure if the first A occurred (two sexual encounters) before or after i proposed (this leads into point two). I believe her issues with commitment put so much pressure on her here that she felt she needed an escape.
2. Every time she had relations with either guy she was pretty drunk. She used the alcohol to destroy her inhibitions and allow the physical act to happen. She SWEARS a condom was always used.
3. She seems to have an ability to disassociate sex with feelings. Both of the guys she had As with are NOTHING like me. And they hate all the things she loves. They are the opposite of anyone she would have feelings for. She said she couldn't kiss them because it felt wrong. This has been somewhat of a relief (that it was sex not love) because our sexual relationship has always been very obviously emotionally charged. I think this ability to disassociate goes back to her first sexual experience.
As of now any wedding planning is off. We are definitely continuing our counselling. I still love her more than I thought I could ever love anyone but at the same time I hate her. Not only do I want to stay with her, I want to help her deal with her issues. I know we may not survive this but either way I want to help her address and deal with her personal issues.
She has already made sacrifices to show me she will do anything to keep me. She quit her current job because people there are friends with second guy. She has agreed to look for a new job outside the city where both of the As occurred. She cut off all communication with people from that recent job. Her ex from the previous A is already very out of the picture. I appreciate this. This city is now just a symbol of her second life. She has also agreed not to even go into that city to see any other non-involved friends without me present.
She has promised to give up alcohol forever. This is easier said than done i'm sure. I've told her if she need to go to Alcoholics Anonymous I will support her. We are also discussing counselling for her regarding her sexual assault.
We are trying a policy of complete honesty and transparency in all things. It has already brought about some realizations about our sexual and emotional relationship.
I feel like I am already starting to forgive her but I'm worried that is because I have low self esteem. We still kiss. We still say "I love you". We are almost normal when we are together and busy so I don't have time to think.
Another thing that is throwing me off is that she is actually acting happy sometimes. Getting the secrets out and quitting a job she hated apparently was a huge weight of her chest. She told me she was a virgin (so was I) when we first met, so that lie was always hanging over her head (because of the religious upbringing). After that, the lie that she never had the first affair (which she said she hide to save our relationship) was always there. She told me the second A happened because she still hiding the first one from me. She hated herself so much this entire time that she lived the double life to be a different person and escape her self hatred. Now she finally has nothing to hide from me and has already had some happier moments then I have seen in months.
She still understands I'm miserable. She still tries to console me and take care of me when I have panic attacks. But when she's happy, I am simultaneously happy for her and resent her for not being as depressed as I am.
I don't know how to feel. I don't want to bring us both down. She is obviously trying but I feel like I haven't had my fair share of time to be pissed and destroyed.
Someone talk to me. I don't even know if I need advice. I just need to talk.
[This message edited by emotionalman at 1:13 AM, November 22nd (Friday)]
It's been 4 days and I'd estimate i'm down 5-8 pounds (i'm a big guy so only about 2-3% of my body weight). I can eat when I'm with her and she is eating. I can eat when I'm with friends. I can't eat any other time.
I'm a worrier and an over-analyzer. I want to ask her all the details of what happened, how it happened, what they did together, but I feel like that will forever create more negative triggers in my mind.
When I'm alone my mind races about if she is hiding anything else. It races about why she did it. It imagines all the things she did to him and let him do to her. I can't slow down and at the same time I can't concentrate on anything. All my free time has been spent talking to her or reading websites about surviving infidelity.
If I wake up from a nightmare, I have to wake her up to talk me down and help me get back to sleep. I'm worried I'm going to push her away by continually reminding her of what she did. She seems to want to move on but I can't yet. She said she can't imagine living without me. She feels like if I leave she will never be in a serious relationship again. I feel the same way. We are perfect for each other in every way except that she cheated.
Can't eat. Can't sleep. Can't concentrate. Can't focus. Can't stop wanting to find and ruin the other man. I know it's only been four days since I found out and under a month since she ended it with him, but this is so hard.
Thank you all for the kind words. I think I'm going to be around here a lot. I apologize for my word vomit.
I too lost a lot of weight, and my mind, those first few weeks.
It is hell.
I started working out to make myself eat, and a few months later I am in the best shape of my life. Its also a great stress release.
I still feel like complete shit, but I look great. Except for the permanent bags under my eyes…
Take care of yourself.
"Cry, and let your soul be cleansed of a love that turned to carnage." - Christy Brown
I'm going to echo Stronger08's statement. You and she need to get a full STD/HIV panel of tests done and you need to make the follow-up appointments for re-testing. Even if she says that a condom was used. All a condom means is that the chance of pregnancy is lessened. You can get STD/HIV with condom use. There are other ways to pass it orally, etc. And frankly, if she was drunk each time, she really doesn't know if the OM used "protection" or not. And frankly again, she may be lying to you out of shame, embarrassment, etc. This is majorly important get tested and no sex until both of you show each other your doctor's results.
I think that AA would be a very wise decision for her and you might want to consider al-anon as well. Fighting an addiction is an every day thing, and the more support she has the better. My one suggestion about that is that if she does do AA, she finds a female mentor, not a male.
Be kind to yourself this weekend. You really don't have to make too many decisions right now. Take your time. And don't feel bad about your mood swings. Unfortunately, she put you on the emotional roller-coaster from hell and you are going to be riding that for a very long time. You are going to be "pissed and destroyed" for weeks, months, perhaps years. This is normal. The emotional ups and downs are normal. You may feel as if you're going crazy, but you are not. All of this is really a very normal reaction to trauma. And you have been dealt the same type of trauma as if you had been hit by a bus.
Keep coming back for support and to vent/talk. We're all here for you.
D-Day, June 10, 2012
In that event you need to protect yourself; firstly by not getting married for quite a few years and secondly by pulling away and building other friendships. Don't depend on this relationship so much; don't ever be so emotionally committed to this wayward partner to the extent she can break your heart in this manner. Dissociate from this soulmate kind of relationship or there is more heartbreak to come.
I am going through a similar situation, I found about this in September. I also lost a lot of weight (20 pounds in two weeks), and you seem to be just like me, always thinking about this. I wasn't able to sleep, eat, etc.
You have to pay attention to yourself first. You can communicate in the forum here, start IC, find a trusted friend with whom you will be able to share. Go through your emotions, or otherwise it will explode one way or another. This is what I did at first, and trust me, it is not something that you should do. You will go through a rollercoster, and you have no choice beside taking that ride.
I did the same as what LetMeRoll is saying, starting to work out. He's right, it is a great stress relief.
Keep us updated, this place is a lifesaver.
Rape does that, compounded by the religious shame that is deeply imbedded around sex.
Sex with someone like a spouse is a trigger, for all the bad memories, and for shame, which makes sex at home a problem and usually messes up the marital sex life.
Drunken sex with another person does not have that effect, at least till the sobering up happens, which is when you are with the marital partner, and the self hatred kicks back in, which leads to the alcohol use and that leads to going back to the other person to try to prove that you are worth something to somebody.
Your wife is an alcoholic. She can never drink safely again, ever, in any amount, of any type of alcoholic beverage.
She needs to go to AA, and to go to AA hopefully with a womans group only, so she can learn about herself, not about alcohol.
She needs counseling, IC, not MC, she isn't ready for MC.
She SWEARS a condom was always used.
Never believe anything a practicing alcoholic says. You will learn that the hard way. They don't know what they have really done most of the time, and either deliberately lie, or confabulate up what they think happened, because they simply don't really know.
She did not use a condom. Get tested. She needs to get tested as well. Drunk people don't stop to use condoms, they don't insist on using them, they just don't. She probably doesn't even remember whether condoms were used or not, probably has no clue.
She used the alcohol to destroy her inhibitions and allow the physical act to happen.
No, she didn't.
Learn this about alcoholism, if nothing else.
Alcoholics use alcohol because they are alcoholics and they feel better when they drink, their bad thoughts and feelings go away, good thoughts and feelings come, and then they do things because they are intoxicated. This page below, which is an AA website, has a questionnaire from Johns Hopkins University that helps people understand their issues. It is very accurate.
Alcoholics have problems, and they drink, which leads to more serious problems, because of the drinking. It is a rare alcoholic that has not cheated on their loved ones.
You will find Al-Anon helpful, more helpful than you can realize, I know that I did.
I found all this out the hard way. I've been married to an alcoholic for 21 years, who has been in recovery for 3 years, and who I've never seen take more than 2 drinks at any time. However, she was a survivor of sex abuse, rape, and was a closet drinker almost our entire marriage. When she was having the affair, she would sometimes put away 2 bottles of wine, and cover it all up by telling me that she wasn't feeling good and would be asleep when I got home, and was driving drunk when she was with the other man. Only once she confessed to all the drinking, and the closet drinking, was she able to get the help she needed and make progress on dealing with her internalized shame around sex and relationships. In 21 years she had one affair, sex with him 9 times, in less than 2 months. But, in MC, she began to confess the rest, and was referred to other counseling as things came out about the teenage rape, her feelings, how she used drugs and alcohol to cover the feelings up, and how her guilt constantly drove at her like a flogging, and she felt better about the rapes if she had casual sex with random people, like it didn't matter so much that she had been raped if she did that....she confessed that she'd had so many sexual partners that she had no idea what the numbers were, but more likely than not it was over 200 before she met me.