My husband has been asking me for months to post ... I have been lurking, but just haven't had the courage to post. So, I guess here we go. :)
I will try not to make this a long drawn out initial post. My husband and I met when I was 17. That by the way was 20 years ago. I came from a very broken family. Parents were divorced, father was an alcoholic, mother was co-dependent, step-father was sexually abusive, step-mother very self absorbed and not sensitive to others feelings. I was a broken teenager, very low self esteem, not many friends and just wanted so much to be wanted by someone else. I wanted that picture perfect life ... a couple kids, wonderful husband .. white picket fence .. you get the picture. So, when I met my husband I thought that was exactly what I was getting. He came from an amazing family. They all care deeply for one another. I had no idea that a family could be that happy. My husband and I have pretty much always had a good relationship. I had and continue to have issues with some of his friendships with other women. But, I am pretty sure deep down nothing would happen. He used to go out with one of the girls for the first 3 to 4 years that we were together, a few times that he didn't even come home at night. I was not allowed to go along ... they needed time together. I didn't like it, but didn't feel like I had a choice. By the way, I hate conflict and confrontation. I run as fast as I can when it happens. Growing up conflict lead to physical fighting and I am well aware of how quickly I shut down when I feel conflict coming. He never understood why I was upset about that relationship until just recently. The last couple of years, our marriage had seen better days. We didn't go out together much, didn't talk ... sometimes felt like we were roommates. I pretty much gave up any friendships I had after I had kids because I didn't have time to nurture them. Husband was always working late or going out with the guys and our boys needed rides/attention. When he was home he watched tv. About 18 months ago, my best friend from high school contacted me after 17 years of not talking and asked me to join her in our hometown for a poker run that she manages in honor of her grandmother every year. I was so excited and my husband pushed me to go. He knew how depressed I'd been, he knew that I very seldom ever got out of the house. I was hesitant to go ... wasn't sure if my girlfriend would really have time for me and I wouldn't know anyone else there. While I was there, I met a guy. My girlfriend knew him, they had been friends for a few years. The attraction between us was very strong .. I can't really describe the feeling I had ... don't think I have ever felt that way. Long story short we ended up having sex that night in my motel room. He said and did all the right things that night. I was stupid enough to tell him that I was married, but not happily and that was all it took. He spent the night with me and went home the following day. When I left that town I swore I would never allow that to happen again, but then he contacted me the Monday after. I ended up giving him my work email address, we exchanged phone numbers. AP told me he was coming to town a couple days later and we met at the hotel in town. We did make out but did not have sex. I told my H about a week and a half after meeting AP that I wasn't happy and didn't know if I wanted to save our marriage. A couple days later I arranged to go back to my hometown and see the AP again. I spent the night at his house, we had supper, we talked, but nothing else happened. The morning when I left, we hugged and kissed, but again no sex. The A continued through emails for a little less than a year. I stayed at home with my H the whole time. I kept trying to get myself to let go of my H, but I just couldn't do it. I know I love him, I know I never stopped loving him. I am still trying to figure out how I let myself do this. I have not done any IC, we really can't afford it. I have given my H a timeline, he has had full access to my phone and emails for several months. I am no longer hiding anything from him. I did give him TT, I did lie, I hurt him beyond words. I initially blamed him for the affair. I really truly thought that if I had a happier marriage, that this wouldn't have happened. I felt like I was telling him how unhappy I was and that he just wasn't listening. I know now that I didn't communicate well enough. I hate conflict and confrontation. This is/was going out of my comfort zone. During this process I have told him that I have always had a wall up with every single person that comes into my life. I have been hurt too many times by people that love me, that I just don't open up and let anyone in. I know I need to change that, just not sure how too. It took a long time for me to come out of the fog ... not sure that I am completely out of it. I would like to think I am but I'm sure that isn't the case. I am really good at trying to ignore things and not deal with them. That is how I was raised. I know how hard this process has been with me and can only imagine how hard it is for my H. I know I'm a horrible person and do not deserve anything from my H. I have told him since this started that he is crazy for wanting to make this work. He didn't do anything to deserve this. Like I told him earlier tonight, if I knew that him and the kids would be ok, I would end my existence on earth. I am not worthy of him or the kids. I really hate myself for what I have done!!! I am struggling today mostly because he does not believe my timeline. He thinks I am still lying about the other 2 times we met up. I swear we did not have sex again. I know it may be hard to believe but its true. I don't know how to make him believe me. I would do anything to go back in time. I hate this!!!
So, this post is way longer than I intended and I apologize for that. I'm sure I need a few 2x4's but please be gentle. I am a very sensitive person and very fearful of what I am about to hear. I will try to respond as soon as I can, but please know I have 2 high school sons very active in school and sports, I have a fulltime job and I am going to college. I don't know how much time I will have, but will do my best to get back here.
Don't think there are any 2x4's for getting on and doing your first post. It sounds like your busy but this place can help you and your BS. So I encourage you to find time, people here an support you and yes help you get your head out when you need it:)
It isn't surprising that your BH doesn't believe your timeline. After all the lies, it is hard to get anyone to believe you are finally telling the truth. Plus, there are many examples of new WS' s coming here and saying "that was all" only to have more come out later. Make sure it's all out and stick to that story. Find evidence if possible.
So, your BH didn't make you choose to have an A, yet your description of his not coming home and hanging out with women seems very concerning. Does he agree with your description? Has he validated your concerns rather than just saying there was nothing to worry about?
How is communication between you two now? You're busy, but finding time for effective communication is very important.
There are differing opinions on this, but it sounds like there is a lot of other stuff you need to work through. The A is probably going to take priority, but the other stuff can't be ignored. And that other stuff is your FOO issues and then your pre-A issues in the M.
I don't think you need 2x4s. It sounds like you are working hard on the things that help recovery. You are going to have to do lots of work on yourself to get through this. Many of us wished to end our existence when we were finally able to see what we have done.
Remember to take good care of yourself and learn to be kind to yourself. You made awful, hurtful choices but remember to look at the good in yourself too. You have a hurting little girl inside of you who is desperate for love. You will have to learn to love her and take care of her. Your BH can't do that for you right now and by learning to care for and comfort yourself you will make yourself safer for lonely times in your life. You will learn not to to seek affection and validation inappropriately because you can get those things from within.
I agree with BBFF that your BH's behavior with women is very concerning. It will need to be addressed but you will have to deal with your A first. BUT in the meantime, while you are dealing with your A it's a good idea for BOTH of you to practice good boundaries if you plan to R. His history of poor boundaries makes him even more vulnerable to a revenge A IMO.
It's hard to do but while you must be very focused on supporting your BH, you also need to focus on yourself. You have started working on figuring out why you gave yourself permission to cheat. Keep digging into this and you will be surprised how many beliefs you hold about yourself and your family that are wrong. You will start to change your thinking and you will feel yourself healing. It feels like freedom after a long dark confinement to me. Little bits of freedom that you have to keep working for and are sometimes bitter sweet because they are painful to achieve, but worth it.
I'm glad you found us. You will find help and support here. Keep posting.
[This message edited by knightsbff at 10:06 AM, November 29th (Friday)]
I edit often to fix stuff ☺️
Profoundly grateful Every. Single. Day. that I am blessed with an H with strength, integrity, and compassion, and that he decided to try.
Like I said, this may be an issue that is too soon to deal with, but it isn't an inevitability that you have to accept.
You need to start learning to communicate. But maybe it goes deeper. Maybe you need to start valuing yourself.