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Mom23DC posted 2/6/2014 21:48 PM

Forgive me from the start as I don't know how long this will end up being... I just went back to look at the calendar, because I can't believe that it has been 3 weeks since I first discovered FB messages w/ sexual content between WH and another woman. (Hope I get all these abbreviations right.) I have since found they have been chatting/talking a couple of different ways (including snapchat). He said it started out innocently enough but escalated, though he never intended to follow through with anything physically (the messages I found did include her suggesting she "get a room" for them, but he replied he thought communicating via phone was best). We didn't speak much for the first week. I confronted him and thought that would put an end to their chatting. Instead discovered that most of their chats occurred on a game app. They continued to talk, mostly about how I found out and what all I could have possibly seen. Did I mention this same woman has been involved (to what degree I don't know)with WH's married brother?
Anyway, I thought the chatting was bad enough but figured we would move on from there. Instead I discover, through the continued chats that he had a PA with a woman while he was on a business trip... as I understand it now he and OW met on a trip in 2007, saw each other again at the same conference in 2008 and had sex, and continued to talk to each other during the year. He claims that they never talked about their hook-up and it was just friendly/business talk afterwards, but the friendship eventually "fizzled out". They were at the same conference in 2009 but he claims they didn't even really talk to each other and he has had no contact since 2010. It took a lot of questioning by me to get all these details. I think he finally realized that I wasn't asking him any questions that I didn't already know the answers to and I think I may have the whole story now.
I moved from one end of the East coast to the other to be with him after college (a "few" years ago). We have now been married for 15 years. I am just devastated. The move was very difficult for me, as I left all of my family and friends behind. I feel like I gave up everything to "choose" him and he didn't "choose" me back. We now have 3 kids and I am lost.
This is actually the first time I have told anyone for several reasons. First, is that I have always told him that if he ever cheated me, the kids and I would be gone. We are still here and I feel like punk for not following through. Secondly, I am afraid others will tell me to leave him and I am not ready to do that. I'm not sure this makes sense but I feel very protective about his reputation. Mostly I think because I feel like his betrayal makes me personally look bad (like I wasn't good enough or worth enough). Also, because if we are able to reconcile I don't want others to be thinking about this (though I know I will never be able to forget).
Our kids do not know anything, though the younger 2 know Mom and Dad have spent a lot of time talking behind closed doors lately. I don't want them to know. I am trying to protect everyone as much as I can, because it will break more hearts than just mine. I did tell them tonight that we are all going to work on being better people and working as a team. It's been pretty tense at our house, even before finding out.
WH has already made himself an appointment with a counselor. He shows remorse, though at the beginning seem like he was more upset with me for catching him than at himself. He claimed he didn't do anything wrong re: the chatting, but has been remorseful for the PA from first confrontation. I am not sure how he kept that to himself for so long. I am not sure how to process something that happened a few years back.
Anyway, this is already too long and I am not sure what I am looking for here. Just needed someone to tell my story(my nightmare)to. I just wish I could stop focusing on the details or finding more details. I have more access to his accounts that I think he realizes and I am obsessive about checking phone logs, FB messages, and different apps. I just want it all to go away, so I can focus on what I should trying to make it through nursing school. I really don't have time for this BS. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far. I have more thoughts swirling in my head, but I will keep them there for now.

Jrazz posted 2/6/2014 22:38 PM

Welcome to SI, Mom23DC.

I'm so sorry for all you have been through, but you have come to a great place for support. Post what you want... and take your time. With everything.

You mentioned that you feel confident that you have the whole story. While I want you to get back to some sense of security, I want you to protect yourself as well. Read through our Healing Library, and check out the 180.

This OW sounds like a real piece of work - hooking up with married brothers. She needs to be out of his life - completely. Your Husband needs to be completely transparent IMMEDIATELY if he wants to try and make this right. That means passwords to everything. EVERYTHING. That means he gives you all the details you ask for. That means ZERO contact with the OW... and any other women for that matter.

It's not overreacting - it's what a remorseful spouse does if they don't want to lose their family.

Take everything in little steps. Rest, drink water, and prioritize yourself and your little ones.

We're here for you. I want to encourage you to reach out to a few people in real life that you trust. Being cheated on is humiliating, but it is NOT your fault and it is NOT a reflection on you. It is about his selfishness and his brokenness, and anyone who is worth having in your life will get this.

Sending you big hugs and strength. You are not alone.

itstoomuch posted 2/6/2014 22:41 PM

Wow! I started reading and immediately thought how lucky you are to find this website now. I just came upon website this week, but my 'life hit the fan' (X)yrs ago. I can't say how much I've been encouraged by these new strangers who understand at least parts of our situation. I feel kinda silly like a 'newbie' on this site, but truthfully I've been living out my own nightmare in real life for awhile now. I want to respond cause I've been there too on many fronts I haven't personally shared with people, but am hesitant cause I'm new here. I share a lot of similarities here, but also have my own set of differences too.

So here is what I can identify with you on: I totally get the long post and wrapping it up like you did. My first post looked very much the same :)) and I totally get:

I feel like I gave up everything to "choose" him and he didn't "choose" me back.

I have been wife for over 15 yrs & a stay-at-home mother of (a lot) of kids since our oldest was born. My entire life has been my husband and children...until....

So what am I doing now? Well I just graduated from nursing school (coincidence!) in December & actually took NCLEX this afternoon! After my life flipped upside down, I had to make some changes and going back to school was one of them. So in the midst of dealing with all of it, I went to nursing school! It has been crazy, but I've also found out all that studying helped me keep my mind busy and keep me focused. I have fallen apart so many times over last x yrs, but I always cleaned myself up and made it to school/ clinical. And 99% of the people at nursing school have no idea what I went thru. I think it helped me just keep moving forward...cause there is NO rest in nursing school! Good luck! It can be done even in the midst of your difficult situation! :)) really! Use school to work for your advantage at this point in time: it will keep you moving & breathing (even tho it's hard to move & breathe at times)

Details... Processing things that happened while being oblivious to it... Obsessing over records.... Game apps.... Been there, done that too :( and something I've noticed here with other ppl too is that TT is typical behavior.... Been helpful for me to process that now. I am done with all that studying & starting to fall apart again. Trying to get my mind back on track from what I started in the beginning post dd. Glad to have found the website when I did...much needed. I am glad you found it too.

Well, I think I wrote just as much as you! Sorry bout that. I tend to carry on too :) I hope you regain your focus and find strength to keep pushing forward.

[This message edited by itstoomuch at 8:34 PM, February 26th (Wednesday)]

Mom23DC posted 2/6/2014 23:09 PM

Thanks, Jrazz. To clarify I am in no way confident that I now have the whole story. I am actually absolutely terrified that I don't. I have found contact info for OW from PA and am fighting the urge to see what she has to say about it. Not a good idea, right? From what I can tell he has already cut off communication with the chatting OW and yes she really is a piece of work. I think they are both in fear that I will mention something to his brother and ruin relationships with him. I struggle with that knowing he is married it seems like he deserves what he gets(her), but I would really like to make things difficult for her. The last chat she and WH had she said she would "pray for him that everything worked out" (she is such a good Christian woman, just ask her) and that she was "so sorry that this was happening to him". To him?! The only things that has happened to him are results of his actions, pretty sure I'm the one who should be getting the apologies here. I really am not sure who IRL I would feel comfortable talking to. I will have to think on that some more, because I know it would be helpful. Also, was thinking I should find a counselor of my own. WH's appointment isn't until March...seems so far away. I have read some of the links on this site and the 180 stuff is way out of my realm right now. I feel like after finding out about the PA I am even more drawn to him. What is that about?! I can't stand that he is being so quiet and withdrawn. He expects that I don't want him around me, but I am finding that I NEED him close.

itstoomuch - There are a lot of similarities in our stories. I am in my 2nd semester of nursing school and that is the only time I feel somewhat "normal" because I can't focus on anything else. However, as soon as I get in my car to head home the tears start flowing. I have also been a SAHM since our oldest was born and going back to school has been a huge transition for our family. I have always worked around everyone else's schedule and now they are having to work around mine. Adds to the difficulties here at home. I am going to go find your original post... thanks for commenting.

norabird posted 2/6/2014 23:31 PM

It can be disturbing but being drawn to the person who hurt you is actually very common--the shorthand is HB, or hysterical binding. I was embarrassed at how much my sex drive went overboard in the first month, when I was separated from my now ex in any case and had no recourse. It is a strange but normal phenomenon.

As for being told to leave him...that is your decision, and there is no rush at all to decide how to proceed. His seeing a counselor is a good step and individual sessions for you also would be helpful.

I understand your reluctance to talk about this IRL though personally it was invaluable for me. I did not have children involved though and your stakes are higher. It is true you can't 'under-tell' anyone so keep considering it and only open up if you feel comfortable.

This is a confusing time. You must feel pulled in so many directions. I want to second what Jrazz said and encourage you to dismiss your humiliation and sense of inadequacy. Please know that you are enough. It is not your fault and I hate to think of your sense of self-worth taking a dive.

Be slow and patient with yourself. Watch your WH's actions for consistency. Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself for not walking out. 15 years and children are not just a suitcase you can pick up and uproot. There is history and baggage holding you in place right now. That can be good, and it can become an impediment that holds you back. But from the outside no one ever knows how they will react if it happened to them. Talking about not accepting adultery is easy; having the rug ripped out from underneath you and yet still loving the person who tore it awY is a whole other complicated matter. It certainly is a lot of work to rebuild trust and takes a committed, honest partner to R, but it is not wrong to want to try. It is only human. Some people say their marriage even improves once they both go all-in. Your path will depend on variables that are unknown right now. The people at SI will keep you company as you walk forward and try to handle this mess.

Peace to you.

itstoomuch posted 2/6/2014 23:38 PM

I completely understand the drastic change for your family by you being in school.... It's been the same case here. Sigh.. I always went around his/ kids schedule & last few years has been very much centered on what mom has going on. Very difficult indeed- especially for us moms who are used to holding the fort. My heart breaks for my kids, but they are hanging in there. And tears... I cried many times to and from school too. Many days it was too much! You hold it together while trying to listen to a lecture or go to clinical or take a test....the tears are gonna burst out... It's a lot of pressure to be under. (Both nursing school & spouse's infidelity! - either one is a life crisis on its own!) I could say so much more, but I'm afraid I'll ramble on again... Will be thinking about you :)

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