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Can you have less than zero trust?

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sideblinded posted 12/11/2013 11:08 AM

I apologize up front for this lengthy post but please bear with me through this and tell me what you think. I posted to JFO on Thanksgiving morning. I'm the BS with the red flags waving in the breeze, wondering how bad my H's porn addiction really is and whether or not he's taken it to the next level. The hookup sites I see listed in the computer hard drive suggest that is the case. But I've no solid proof of that and he adamantly denies he'd ever go that far. His TT admission of online porn use over the last five weeks has gone something like this:

"It wasn't me - must be a computer virus."
"Oh yeah, that was me, ha ha, sorry, won't happen again."
"Well, I may have gone online a few times over the summer."

Three weeks ago I told H I wanted him to see an IC and get screened for SA. He looked me right in the eye and swore he would get help. Right away. After he agreed to seek counseling I hadn't said another word about it. A tiny part of my brain is thinking, yes, he's made some phone calls, he's going to get on top of this thing and FIX whatever the hell is going on. But the realistic part of my brain is thinking, no he's not given this a second thought. He's walking around this house, happy as he always is, whistling and singing out loud. I see nothing in his demeanor to suggest he is even remotely considering what this has done to my psyche/self esteem.

So last Friday night he comes home from his latest business trip and I notice a jar of blackberry preserves on the kitchen counter. This jar sits there for two days. It's like an elephant in the room. So I finally give in and say what's this? He says it's a gift for you I brought back from ( trip city). Folks, this man has been on hundreds of business trips in our 21 years of marriage and has never once brought me a gift. And if it was meant as a gift, why is it not presented as such? It's just sitting there on the counter. When I do not express sufficient gratitude for said jam jar he starts getting mad at me for not being grateful for the gift. Now I'm pissed. I pull out a pen and paper and ask him to write down the name and phone number of the counselor he is seeing, knowing full well he's got nothing. He picks up the pen, puts it to the paper, and....stops. And in that split second of hesitation I feel like he's sealing our fate - the M is doomed. He says, I haven't had a chance to call anyone yet. In 2-1/2 weeks, he hasn't had a few free minutes to make some calls and get the ball rolling on this. From where I'm sitting, it looks like he just doesn't care enough about me or the M to make the first move.

Now my bitch boots are on. I start throwing F bombs around the room - some of them are probably still floating around the stratosphere somewhere. I pull out of my back pocket some of the terminology I've learned here in the past couple of weeks, like I'm not going to tolerate TT, rugsweeping, he needs a CSAT, etc. etc. I'm feeling empowered. Then he drops his bomb and says,

"HUNDREDS. I've been on hundreds of porn sites, starting around 2006."
He says this with such casual nonchalance - as if I've just asked him if he wants a second helping of pumpkin pie for dessert. No big deal.

Holy crap. I hold it together and try the clinical approach: how do you FIND all these sites? How do you decide which girl to masturbate to? He's very matter-of-fact, says he starts each session with where each day nine new hotties are presented for your viewing pleasure, and then goes from there. I'm sitting at the computer so I get on the website and we look at the homepage together. I think my sanity is slipping away because stupid questions come pouring out of my mouth, like do these girls clean bathrooms too? Do they do laundry? Have your dinner on the table when you walk through the door every night? Do they drive your son to the orthodontist every 4 weeks? I quickly realize I'm hating myself now as much as him, so I leave the room and tell him to go ahead, knock himself out.

Yesterday I went to see my gyn doc for STD screening and she wants to know what's up. First time I've verbalized what's going on and the floodgates open. She's very empathetic because her first husband was also a cheater. She starts asking about my mental health. I'm not going to lie to this woman so I say yeah, some mornings I'm disappointed that I wake up. Sometimes I'm disappointed that my H wakes up. She decides I should see the psychiatrist down the hall and gets me an appointment for later in the day.

I have a very healthy skepticism for psychiatry but as my doc says, it'll be worth it to just get it all off my chest, with a total stranger, a sympathetic ear. Before I go to the psych appointment I throw the jam jar in my purse. During my session with him I hold up the jar - to show him this symbol of my H's "apology", if that's what it is. Here's what he says:

Imagine you are in the dining room on the Titanic. Suddenly an iceberg rips a huge gash on the side of the ship. Water is gushing in and the ship is starting to sink. You're eating your dinner. Your husband is a chef in the kitchen of the Titanic. He decides at this moment to bring you a beautiful plate of food, discarding the dinner you were eating, and giving you something lovely to eat, maybe a nice filet mignon with all the trimmings. The "chef" is thinking, if she just focuses on this lovely plate of food I've brought her she won't even notice that she's on a sinking ship.

This psych is now my new best friend.

Before I leave his office he makes me promise to quit looking at the hard drive. I promise. There's no point in it since H's admission of longtime porn use. And then this: why is it so important for me to know if he's using the dating hookup sites? What purpose will it serve me to know more? Does it really matter, because my husband has already committed a betrayal and how can you have less than zero trust? I'm split on this question. I do want all the sordid details. I feel like I deserve to know what's going on in my marriage. But the man has a point, trust in my spouse is already in the basement. Why take it to the sub-basement?

If anyone is still reading this and can relate to what I've written here, please share your thoughts/experiences. I've already learned so much in the short time I've been a member of SI. I trust in whatever you have to say.

karmahappens posted 12/11/2013 11:13 AM

Wait so the doc said don't find out about real-life hook-ups?

Are you shitting me?

If I got that right, run!

You need to know because this is your life and you deserve to know the truth about what you are facing.

tushnurse posted 12/11/2013 11:26 AM

Yah you have less than Zero trust, you suspect he is hiding more, more that will impact your choice to stay or leave, and could in fact impact your health. So unless the psych was saying this from a point of you that you are done and out, or that you know for sure he hasn't hooked up, or even that you are so fragile right at this moment you don't need to know more, I disagree.

I mean you need to know if you have been exposed to STD's, you need to know the level of his betrayal. OK so your H is a SA, and beats off to porn, but it doesn't matter if he has hooked up with women? Yah I don't buy it. I would ask for clarification on this now. Call the office, ask to speak with him. If you are not satisified with the answer see another counselor or psych. Particularly one that deals with SA and infidelity.

(((and strength))))

ascian posted 12/11/2013 11:37 AM

Yes, certainly you can have less than zero trust.

At "zero trust" you don't believe anything someone says without objective evidence. If they say the sky is blue, you look up. If they say a movie is good, you check out some reviews first.

Below that, at "negative trust," you assume that the individual is lying to you unless proven otherwise, and that proof requires extraordinary evidence. It's not enough to say "I'm invested in our marriage," you need to see a strong, consistent, and extended pattern of behavior to believe that claim.

sisoon posted 12/11/2013 11:40 AM

Or is the psych saying you don't need to look any more because you know all you need to know already?

Key questions: What M outcome do you want now? What do you need to do to assure the best possible outcome for yourself?

TrustGone posted 12/11/2013 11:45 AM

Yes, you can have less than zero trust. Even if he hasn't really hooked up in real life he has still betrayed you with these online sites. I think this is what your councelor was telling you. Either way you look at it, it is still a betrayal. Maybe he was pointing out that you may not find out the true extent of his betrayal by checking these sites. I think if you really want and need to know, keep digging. Check his phone records, credit card statements, bank statements, etc.. The fact that he doesn't want to help himself should tell you something. Addicts rarely help themselves until they hit rock bottom. The fact that he has been doing this for the last 7yrs says something is broken in him. Unfortunately, you can't fix him, you can only fix yourself. (((HUGS)))

movingbackwards posted 12/11/2013 11:51 AM

My experience has been very similar to yours, although I know for sure that my WH's porn addiction did turn to more (craigslist posts "seeking casual hookups" when he traveled for work... although he still claims nothing physical ever happened). I'm with you though... does it really matter if something physical happened or not?? Plus the fact that I don't believe it because of his history of lying about the extent. I've heard similar things that you have... "What, no, I've never done that."
"Well, I've looked at some things I shouldn't."
"What are you talking about, craigslist?"
"Oh you do know about craigslist... Okay yes that happened but I never went through with the hookups."
So why would you possibly wonder why I don't believe you that there's not more??!?!

I feel for you. My advice is to demand full truth from your husband and don't settle for less. Don't let him know what you do and don't know (I made that unfortunate mistake and now I always wonder what else there is). I'm so sorry you've had to start this terrible journey. (((hugs)))

Kierst13 posted 12/11/2013 12:30 PM

You can have less than zero trust. You also need to know what the betrayal is so you can decide if it is a deal breaker. You cannot reconcile and begin to forgive somebody if you do not know how they have wronged you.

To make the decision to R or to leave, requires knowing what type of betrayal, how long and you may need details.

Look at it this way. If your friend knocked on your door and said "I'm sorry". Would you ask questions or simply say "okay". If she said she lied, would you say "okay" and drop it, or would you ask what the lie was? Let's face it, if the lie is she did not tell you your butt looked big in those jeans, that is much different than her telling the PTA that you stole money when you did not.

It is necessary to know what you are or not are reconciling and forgiving.

sideblinded posted 12/11/2013 13:20 PM

karma - I don't think the psych was telling me to NOT find out if my H is hooking up. I think what he was doing was posing a series of questions to me. I think he saw, sitting across from him, a broken person. And he was asking me if I really wanted to be broken further with new knowledge of more betrayals. I don't think he was being dismissive of this point at all - I probably just didn't word this clearly in my original post. The guy knows I'd just come from my doc for STD testing. He knows and understands where I'm coming from.

sisoon - what outcome do I want for my M? I don't know. It depends. If this addiction has no physical factor involved I want my H to get himself into a 12-step program, work on himself, and then we'll talk about R. I want his companionship for the long term. If, however, he's gone over the edge into hooking up I think that's my dealbreaker.

Kierst13 - you've gotten to the heart of my question. How do I decide to R or D if I don't know the extent of the betrayal? I need the details to make an informed decision. You're right - how do I know what it is I'm forgiving him for?

I just got an email from H informing me he has an appt. next week with an IC. He was fishing for an atta boy for making an appointment. Well, sure hon, good job. Except you would not have made the appointment if I wasn't demanding it of you, so how many pats on the back do I have to give you?????

Ostrich80 posted 12/11/2013 14:46 PM

Yes, I can relate. My ws also goes into those sites but I can only see where he goes, I can't see if he corresponds with anyone. I can only assume that looking gets old after awhile and eventually there is chatting, then person. I can't prove it but I figure if he hasn't met, he will at some point. I hada complete STD testing in August..
Can you have less than zero trust, I say yes. Looking up the sites, having them book marked, to me is enough to not trust. The fear that he has acted on it, has ruined any chance at R. I will not be intimate with him again...ever. I value my health. We will D as soon as my youngest has graduated HS.

BrokenHurtAngry posted 12/11/2013 16:12 PM

I am pretty new here, but I can kind of relate. We have not been to MC yet, but in my first IC session, my C was asking me questions about some of WH's behavior. One question was, "Does he ever look at porn?" I looked her dead in the face and said, "Um....YEAH!" I thought every guy did. He subscribes to Playboy and also goes on all kinds of porn sites, at least on a weekly basis. We have gotten viruses on our computer twice now becuase of irreputable sites. The C said, "I'm almost sure he has a SA." Your story makes me think I should ask him if he's ever done online dating or cyber-sex...

Anywho, WH has now started seeing a CSAT, one of only two in the state. I hope he gets some help for this, if it truly is a SA.

Sorry for the rambling!

sideblinded posted 12/11/2013 16:41 PM

BrokenHurtAngry, I told my WH I wish he'd just subscribed to Playboy, at least then he could've recycled the paper. lol. Some of the stuff he is looking at, according to the logs in our hard drive, is vile. This is NOT your playboy centerfold stuff. Some of the online porn I've had brief, unfortunate glimpses at makes Playboy look like Little House on the Prairie.

I don't know if all men look at porn, but there's no room for it in my marriage. To me, when he's looking at myfreecams he's having sex with these people, whether he's doing it in our living room or IRL. It's the hookup sites that he keeps claiming are popups that keep me awake at night. I don't ask about them any more because he vehemently denies any and all knowledge of them. He doesn't know what I know.

Getting help from a CSAT is going to be a challenge where I live also, because I've heard there is only one in my state, and it's certainly not close by.

Good luck with your counseling.

Ostrich80 posted 12/12/2013 02:19 AM

To me, when he's looking at myfreecams he's having sex with these people, whether he's doing it in our living room or IRL.

Exactly S.B. my ws watches a lot of the of the P.O.V. porn. I didn't know what it was until I clicked on it. It's virtual f***ing. Hey if a guy wants to do that wtf ever but I don't want a husband that would rather pretend than be with me. It's effin weird, creepy, and insulting. When he's D from me, he can do it til it falls off, but I don't want it in my M.

sideblinded posted 12/12/2013 08:31 AM

Ostritch - good heavens, I've never heard of POV porn - what the heck is that? Point of view? Virtual f&#*&ing??? Do the participants talk to each other Skype-like through the process? I don't think I want to google that.

Thanks for the chuckle - he can do it till his dick falls off just not under my roof. My feelings exactly, especially with my kids using the same computer. When they need a computer now I make them use my laptop so that when they're searching for something they're not going to get a big ugly surprise thrown at them.

refuz2bavictim posted 12/12/2013 10:05 AM

Honestly after the jam thing...This chef would be feeding him jam sandwiches for every single meal.

I'm not sure that you can ever build real trust without the whole truth. If he can't trust you to KNOW the whole truth, how can you trust him?

NoMorDeceit posted 12/12/2013 11:27 AM

One of the reasons you need to know is so at some point you can start assembling the puzzle that is your real marriage. Not the one you thought you had, because that one wasn't real. You'll want those pieces to help you understand what has really been going on all these years. If it has been since 2006, there is a lot of time and puzzle pieces you'll want to account for. Maybe you don't need to know every nano detail, but you need a rough sketch at least so you can try to make sense of this bomb that just blew life apart.

Yes, you can have less than zero trust.

kra127 posted 12/12/2013 12:17 PM

While our situations with our WS's are different, I can relate to many of the things you said. I too was asked by my IC why I thought I needed the ugly details of my WS's affair. I needed to know because in my mind if I didn't, my brain can't possibly try to imagine the things they were doing. It's just too painful. I too have less than zero trust at the moment as my WS keeps saying I've found everything and then low and behold, I find more pictures, more calls and or more "friends". Like someone else mentioned, I need to know exactly what type of betrayal I'm dealing with before I can even think of deciding on R or D. My WS is in IC and he likes to pat himself on the back all the time telling me how's he's changed. Really??? I've known the truth less than 2 months and you've changed? Makes no sense to me.

Ostrich80 posted 12/13/2013 02:20 AM

Ostritch - good heavens, I've never heard of POV porn - what the heck is that? Point of view? Virtual f&#*&ing??? Do the participants talk to each other Skype-like through the process? I don't think I want to google that.

I was curious because I kept seeing POV, so I clicked on it. This naked woman is being filmed from behind on her hands and knees and she's turning her head around and saying, oh yea, just like that, your so hard bla blah blah. So the way the camera is angled, it s like the viewer is having sex with her. It's freakin weird.

Lionne posted 12/14/2013 15:30 PM

POV Porn...from the Urban Dictionary...

an abbreviation for "point of view". In addition to its use as a device in literature (as described in a previous definition on this site) it has also become commonly used in pornography. With the rise of handheld video cameras and the spread of amateur porn on the internet, a whole sub-genre of pov porn has developed.

In a pov porn the man receiving sexual ratification holds the camera himself and aims it down at his genitals and the partner/s who is/are pleasuring him. This is in contrast to having a separate camera crew filming the action. The effect is to give the viewer the sense that he is experiencing the sexual acts he is watching as opposed to simply watching others as a voyeur.


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