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Why can't I just let it go?

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Scubachick posted 1/17/2014 17:09 PM

My WH admits to having an EA by definition but we disagree on his motive. He admits he was wrong for putting her under a different contact name. He admits it was wrong of him and a betrayal to secretly meet her at the casino 4 times in middle of the night and giving her money to play with. He admits that he let his guard down and that at times his texts weren't very professional & borderline inappropriate for a married man but insists they were all centered around business. I recovered some deleted texts and found nothing sexual at all. It was mostly business but there was some teasing, gossip, and he was always trying to make her laugh. He'd share good news about his business even though it didn't really relate to her position and even text her on her days off to share it. They texted a lot (up to 1400 times a month)and sometimes as late as 4am. He never mentioned her name to me. Had he admitted all of this from the start, I'm sure We'd be in a much better place. Instead he trickle truth me for 3 months. Which damaged me more than the original betrayal...especially by asking the OW to lie to me too and asking me to work side by side with the girl when they had secrets together.

I believe he is very sorry for hurting me and would never do it again. It's the first time he has ever done anything like this. He's made a lot of positive changes, is in IC working on his FOO issues (seriously dysfunctional family) and his gambling problem. He turns to gambling as an escape when he's really stressed but can go and has gone 6 months to a year at a time without gambling. I have no fears that there is anything between them anymore. My problem is that I don't believe him when he says yes, I did bad things and I hurt you very badly but it's not what it looks like. He denies having any sort of feelings for her ever. Denies being attracted to her. Denies that he even considered her a friend. Denies getting any kind of charge from their interactions. I've never been the jealous type. never told him he couldn't gamble or made him feel bad for it. His excuse for hiding her is that he thought I would get jealous. He has several female employee's that he communicates with daily that he doesn't feel the need to hide. He blames his gambling addiction for asking her to meet up with him at the casino. He had been hiding her already for months by then. His excuse is he just wanted someone to play blackjack with. I just don't believe his excuses though. He's lied too much.
I kicked him out a week ago and He still sticks to the same bs answers to my questions. They can't possibly be true, can they??? Sometimes I wonder if I'm the problem and just not willing to accept anything except what I want to hear. But then I think there's no way someone can hide and lie so much and knowingly betray me for such innocent reasons...especially him. It's so out of character for him to act like this or to lie to me. I feel like a crazy person and I wish I could let it go and just be content with moving forward more aware of our issues and working on them together finally. I mean he admits he was wrong...why do I need to know all that other crap?? I'm destroying the good parts of my marriage and damaging what's left of my self esteem by constantly obsessing over this. Our counselor thinks he needs to work on his FOO issues first and until he does he will never feel safe enough to tell me the truth about her. I'm at the point if I can't figure out how to let go of this than I need to move on without him in my life. What I'm putting myself through now is just not healthy and I can't get it under control. I'm concerned for my own mental health. I see myself falling apart more and more every day. I need to pull myself together for my son. Any advice or suggestions? Any one relate?

absolut posted 1/17/2014 17:56 PM

Not a lot of advice except that what you're feeling is normal. Also, having once dated (briefly) someone who was in looooove with gambling (I got to go to Las Vegas, so that was fun!) this whole EA may have been rooted more in his gambling addiction. It's a real thing, and he may have simply needed a gambling buddy, and kind of associated her with the fun of gambling.

Also, not unusual for gambling addicts to give people money to gamble *with* them. Kinda like an alcoholic buying drinks for a buddy at a bar, while they hang out and drink together. Whose doing who a favor?

The guy I dated paid for a vacation to Vegas and gave me lots of money to gamble. It was tons of fun! And I don't have any kind of gambling problem. But it became obvious to me he did. The truth is, he would have taken that trip and gambled with or without me. We dated a few months and during that time he would place bets on his laptop or phone all the time.

The gambling and the EA are equally big problems in my opinion. Wishing you luck, hugs.

tryingtwo posted 1/17/2014 20:05 PM

My husband had an alcohol problem and a gambling problem. Concerning the gambling problem I can tell you this, She would not call him on it and you would.

She disregarded reason and you wouldn't. So likely he reached out to her in an emotional way because he knew you would not support his gambling. She wasn't invested in the relationship like you are.

So I guess what I want to throw out there is that he may actually be telling the truth to you. He didn't "feel" anything toward her that was not connected with his gambling. Addictions create a strange thinking pattern that is very hard to understand as the non-addict. He reasoned himself into believing his own bullshit. He really didn't see himself as how you see him and his actions. He really might have only reached out to this woman because she wouldn't call him on his bad behavior, not really because he wanted something more, like sexual encounters.

I dealt with a lot and my husband's addictions taught me that his thinking was not mine. I needed to realize that trying to see his thinking through his addiction is not giving him a pass on his actions. Until I could see it all through his eyes and emotions I wasn't able to accept "his" truth. He was telling me his truth as he could see it.

It is hard to understand the whole thinking process, but I can tell you once you open up to how he is thinking, it is then you will begin to see that the addiction is not the man. The man you love is still there once he and you can wipe the slate with honest realizations.

karmahappens posted 1/17/2014 22:32 PM

I dealt with a lot and my husband's addictions taught me that his thinking was not mine. I needed to realize that trying to see his thinking through his addiction is not giving him a pass on his actions. Until I could see it all through his eyes and emotions I wasn't able to accept "his" truth. He was telling me his truth as he could see it.

^ I can see this.

I do believe he was having an EA by "definition", however I wonder if he was more covering up the gambling. Do you think if she was a guy friend he would have been as secretive?

Dare2Trust posted 1/17/2014 22:49 PM


You can't just let it go, because his "excuses" simply don't make sense.

Like this:

He blames his gambling addiction for asking her to meet up with him at the casino. He had been hiding her already for months by then.

That's crazy-making! How can he blames his "gambling addiction" if he was already hiding this woman for MONTHS, before he ever met up with her at that casino?
That makes no sense!

karmahappens posted 1/17/2014 22:51 PM

oh, sorry

He blames his gambling addiction for asking her to meet up with him at the casino. He had been hiding her already for months by then.

Missed that, scratch my theory. Sorry...

Undone1 posted 1/17/2014 22:54 PM

I think it is hard to separate out the gambling addiction from the EA. There was the secrecy, lying, feeling like he was getting away with something, rationalizing his behavior for both. My guess is that it could have become a PA as he became more vulnerable. Both the EA and gambling are addictions. He is probably trying to tell the truth, but the real reasons and "why" he needs to gamble, why he needs to get away with something, why he needs to feel validated by someone other than his wife, why he kept it all a secret are issues he has to address for himself. It takes a long time and alot of digging before all that becomes clearer to the WH. Believe me, it will never make sense to us, the betrayed spouses.

My fWH has an alcohol addiction and was in a PA for 3 years. It started "innocently" as they all do with a several month EA that slowly became a PA. He was not communicating with me, was very conflict avoidant and used the PA as a suave to make himself feel better. He made me the bad guy, even though I wasn't and never even knew it, and resented me for putting restrictions of him that were really self imposed.

It's been a hell of a journey to get to this year and 2 months, but we are sticking with it! Hardest thing I have ever done.

Hang in there. Remember it's not about you...they are broken.

Scubachick posted 1/18/2014 01:43 AM

Thank you all for your replies. He tries to focus on just the casino part.....and if that was all there was I could totally see how it was addiction related. It's when I remind him the same girl he took to a casino just happens to be the same one his listed as "security" for her contact name. It's the same girl that he deleted texts from. He very rarely spoke a word about her. She's worked for us for over 10 years but this didn't start until he decided to promote her. He casually mentioned her name to me and asked what I thought about promoting her. I said if you think she's the best one for the job, move her up. so I knew she existed but she wasn't even on my radar. That is the only time he said her name to me. Occassionaly he would forward me a work related text to share the info with me and I'd ask who sent it to him just so I would know how reliable the info was. I believed him when he said so and so... Well after I discovered their texts, I notice that it was always her that sent it but for some strange reason he would lie and say it was someone else. Why lie? The text was all business! She's the only female he has shared his addiction with other than me. He's a super private person...especially when it comes to his gambling addiction. Plus he's always had strict boundaries with female employee's and females in general. She is definately the exception to the rule.

He keeps repeating "just because I texted her a lot or took her to a casino, does not mean that I don't love my wife" I never once thought or suggested that is what it meant. I don't understand why he says that. It's like he's trying to convince himself of that. He's so weird.

catlover50 posted 1/18/2014 05:21 AM

Scubachick, I agree with your MC. He is still lying to himself. I suspect he is telling you the truth as he understands it, but that he is woefully unselfaware ( that's actually not a word but I still like it).

From my personal experience it is very important that he get to the root of this. In our M there have been a few crises where my H did half the work and we ended up here. Unfortunately there is no way for you to force him to do it. He has to be humbled, quit protecting himself and really dig.

Is he in IC? That can help, but my H spent months lying to his IC also. I really have no idea how to get a person to that place of self awareness if they aren't ready.

Best of luck.

Undone1 posted 1/18/2014 11:13 AM

The book "Not Just Friends" may be something that the two of you would want to pick up and read if you haven't already. It may help him open his eyes to what he was doing.

Mama58 posted 1/18/2014 12:05 PM

Listen to your gut. You're not getting over it because you KNOW that there is more to the story. The explanations don't make sense, you know this. Texting and casinos and late nights? Of course he's cheating. That guy is who he is, he's only admitting what he has to, likely there is much,much more.

Buckeye Wife posted 1/18/2014 20:42 PM

I don't know how addictions play into all of this. However, I call BS that feelings weren't involved. I'd also *guess* that more went on than he's admitting to. I got TT for first three months. Swore I knew everything. Finally at 9 months, he blurted out more truth when I said it still didn't add up.

Folks here told me to expect more to his story than I had. I thought my H wasn't like so many others. He wouldn't TT. Well, he did.

I hope I am wrong. Take extra good care of yourself. He has a lot of work to do on himself. While he does, you can work on you.

stupidgurl posted 1/19/2014 12:46 PM

I agree, go with your gut, but I will add that you do not need him to validate your instinct. You cannot let it go because he will not fess up. He will lie, he will continue to lie, and he is scared because admitting it means he would not be able to sleep peacefully at night, he is essentially lying to himself too.

I am a MH, my H had an EA years ago and just like yours all I got were denials because it was not reciprocated, I was called crazy if I brought it up, when the evidence I had was clear: a drunken confession (he has no recollection to this day of saying), and witnessing him cozying up to her at a bar with my own eyes (again while drunk???). Even having that I allowed myself to go nuts over it and second guess myself until I believed I was nuts.

I didn't trust myself, you don't either, just trust yourself. Despite all his lies you know what it was, no matter how much he denies it, you have the proof. With that knowledge go on and make the decisions you need to make.

I think the hope is that they will admit it or that somehow you were wrong. You have your evidence though, just as I did, don't go down that same road it is no fun. Trust your instinct, accept what it tells you even without the confirmation.

It took 10 years to get a confession from my H. Last year he admitted to it all. You should have seen me simultaneously laughing and crying on the floor saying "I knew I wasn't crazy!!!" over and over, rolling on the floor like a crazy person, lol! It felt great to hear a confession but I was sad that I did not trust myself, and damaged myself for years. Now I am over it, it took me so long, so many years of resentment and pain. If I could have done it over again, I would accept the reality, and then make my decisions based on that, not wait for a confession from someone I know is lying.

Make a list of all the conditions he needs to meet in order to come back home, he needs to earn your trust back, stop the lies, etc., things that you think need to change.

And allow yourself to go through the feelings, I didn't get go through a healthy process, and look where it got me. Loca!

stupidgurl posted 1/19/2014 12:50 PM

Also he need to go NC with her, maybe have her work sent to someone else or even you, so there is no contact between them. Or the B needs to get das boot... She did go along with it, OP are not innocent bystanders, they go along with it too.

Scubachick posted 1/19/2014 15:01 PM

Stupidgurl (I feel bad calling you that),

I bet it felt so good to hear him confess after all of those years. Did he say why it took that long? Did he ever do anything like that again? Like your husband, I think it was more one sided. Although the OW went along with it for the money. One time she even encouraged him to take a guy to the casino instead of her. He insisted though and she went. You're so right....I don't trust myself andI need to start.thank you so much for your advice. It helps!!

disillusioned12 posted 1/19/2014 15:45 PM

(((Scubachick))) I could have written your post, except for the gambling addiction. Even your username is one I relate to, although, I have not SCUBA dived in several years. I do miss it, the serenity and perfection found below the surface.

I, too, believe my FWH is withholding the truth about his EA. I did let it drive me crazy and spent so many sleepless nights obsessing. However, with the help of my IC, I've accepted that I may never know the truth. No matter what he tells me, I'd be relying on faith and trust that he's being honest. Not even a polygraph will give me the satisfaction of knowing 100%. I'm learning to let this part go, to not carry this burden. The burden is on him. Ultimately, he is the one who has to live with himself as an honest or dishonest person. I can choose to leave. I am not a hostage, nor a victim. Neither are you.

For what its worth, I am glad you are refocusing on healing yourself. Your WH is toxic right now, and you do not need toxicity in your life. When you're ready, go back to working on the 180, not as a means to win your WH back, but as a means to win yourself back. Going NC, except when it comes to finances and your son, might even help you regain focus. You are strong and brave. Take all of the energy spent on obsessing over your WH's betrayal, and use it for yourself and your son. Be gentle, kind, and forgiving to yourself.

Scubachick posted 1/20/2014 00:57 AM


You made such a great point...I'm wasting all this time and energy on something that I have no control over and I should invest it into my son and myself. I'm really going to try to start doing that tomorrow. I keep feeding my insecurities and anger by going over and over all of this.. Thank you!!

stupidgurl posted 1/21/2014 09:41 AM

Hi SC,

His excuse for taking so long was that he was so ashamed of himself, and that basically he would not have been able to sleep at night or look me in the eye if he admitted what he had done.

He has pushed the boundaries, but the bad part is that because he never admitted to what he did, he felt that there was no trust to rebuild, so he never worked on it. The trust rebuilding starts inside of them, and they cannot begin to work on that until they know what they did wrong. So there were some boundary crossings here and there, but I would be like " no,no,no, remember that one time, don't put me through that again". So there were never incidents as bad as the EA again.

It did feel good to have the confession, in fact that night we burned pics of us with OW and her H, and I feel over it finally. But I think it also helped him to finally want to work on trust with me. He is such a better H now. I get scared because it feels temporary, but he has kept it up for a year now :)

stupidgurl posted 1/23/2014 00:15 AM

Excuse me, I said "never admitted to what he did" but I meant initially didn't admit to it.

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