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Am I deluding myself? - this is very long

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nakeya posted 3/13/2014 17:34 PM

We are a military family so my husband is gone frequently for a few months at a time. Once we moved to our new duty station in 2012, our marriage was in deep trouble. He had problems with alcohol and anger. I was in a deep depression.

Our new duty station took us completely across the country from my family and friends and upon arriving, we found out that I was pregnant. We already have a 9 year old daughter.

He promised to only drink socially after we had spoken about limits beforehand and that he would try to stop dipping. This was the only way I agreed to move with him because previously he had an alcoholic rage that scared me so badly, I took my daughter and drove 3 hours in the middle of the night to my parent's home.

So, at our new duty station across the country our marriage seems to improve. But, his new unit deploys much more frequently than any other he has been in. Meaning he's home for 3 months, gone for 2, home for 2 months, gone for 1, home for 3 months, gone for 2 weeks, etc.

He returns home when the baby is 1 month old. He's been gone for 2 months previously, coming home for her birth and leaving again. But, he's different now.

While he was gone, he emailed how he felt things were going better with us but after a couple of days home, he seems angry and frustrated. He says our marriage isn't what he thought it would be and I'm not the wife he thinks I should be. That while abroad, he's seen women who would be grateful to cook and clean and perform sexually because their lives are so difficult. I'm completely taken aback. I don't understand how its come to this point so quickly. I just had our baby...

His clothes start to go missing, he doesn't wear his ring, he does PT in the morning, at lunch, and after coming home, he goes to work out. I've never seen him look so in shape. His cologne changes and he always smells and looks good before going out. His social network passwords change, his email password changes, and he locks his phone so I have no access to that either.

I'm in a panic trying to save my marriage. I don't immediately suspect infidelity although the signs are all there.

So, I decide I need to improve my appearance, maybe that will change his mind. I go in the garage to find one of his book bags to use as a gym bag and I discover a pack of small condoms.

We haven't used condoms for years and when we did, we didn't buy the small pack. I'm devastated but I don't want to jump to conclusions. I'm still trying to save my marriage so I call my Mom and she advises to remain calm and not confront him until I'm sure they aren't 'our' condoms.

I know they aren't ours so I bring it to his attention and his response is anger. He tells me they are 'ours' just left over from some time ago. It takes a few days, after I let him know the condoms have the same expiration date as the condoms currently in the grocery store that he says he bought them recently. He says he hasn't used them, that the pack is unopened, so he didn't cheat.

He's not remorseful. He seems even more adamant about ending our marriage.

My 9 year old is from a previous marriage and that divorce was very difficult. I vowed to never put her through something like that again, something my husband promised he would never do. I'm basically a stay at home Mom, I don't have a financial safety net, I haven't worked outside the home in almost 4 years, and I have just had an infant who needs a lot of constant care. I don't know what to do.

I went to the internet and found Michele Weiner-Davis' youtube videos and followed them the best I could even though they weren't meant for partners who were unfaithful. Anything he wanted sexually, I did. He drank whenever and however much he wanted without a word from me. He came and went as he pleased and I never brought up our issues. The house was always clean and his dinner was waiting when he got home from work. I didn't ask him to change his mind anymore.

I lost myself and every time after we did anything sexually (I would put on a great show), afterwards I would go somewhere alone and feel physically ill and cry because I didn't know whether or not he had cheated and if he did, whether or not I was exposing myself to STD's.

I eventually couldn't do it anymore. I told him that I would agree to the divorce. Unbeknownst to him, I found out my rights as a military spouse and primary caregiver and what I needed to do for the children. He wanted me to make a financial agreement with him because of his rank and my status as SAHM, he knew he would be paying a lot of money in spousal and child support and he didn't want to do that. I told him no.

Randomly, he came home from work one day and said he longer wanted a divorce because he made the choice to marry me and he has to take responsibility for that.

It's odd and felt weird but I agree, in relief. I never knew whether or not he cheated on me. He claimed that he didn't but he lied for days about the condoms, so I choose to let it go for the moment.

I make up an AGREEMENT where I've listed examples of verbal abuse that has gone on in our marriage for years and ask him to read, add on if he wants, and sign. We discuss it and he signs.

I request that we go to MC. Surprisingly, he agrees. We go about 3 times but our counselor seems fresh out of college and our sessions are full of long, awkward silences where we seem to be waiting for someone to take the lead.

I don't have the passwords to his social networks or email anymore. He gave me access to his phone again but there are portions that I can't access. He wears his ring and has worked on not being verbally abusive anymore. We just don't talk about what happened.

I just don't trust him, though. I feel like I made a big mistake in the way I handled things because I didn't require him to prove his trustworthiness or acknowledge that what he did was wrong.

It's been almost a year since I found the condoms and things have improved but none of my doubt has been removed.

I feel like I'll make him angry if I demand all his passwords and the ability to look through everything he hasn't given me access to. But, I feel like I'm living in a haze of trying to make things work when my trust has been completely shaken. I don't trust my own ability to determine whether or not he's lying because he lied to me about many things for years and I had no idea.

I love him and I want my marriage to work but I don't know how to feel trust in his words or actions anymore. I choose to believe what he says so I don't walk around in state of depression and frustration. I had to let the resentment go but I want to feel loved and wanted, not for the sake of appearances or obligation. I just don't trust him anymore and his frequent deployments (and choice to continue another job like that even though he had other options) makes me feel like he wants to be away for a reason.

I just want clarity and actual answers. Am I deluding myself?

k94ever posted 3/13/2014 17:48 PM


How legally binding are these "agreements" you two signed?

Chances are high that he's cheating with another military person.

And you can never successfully "nice" your marriage back together again.


nakeya posted 3/13/2014 18:58 PM

Thank you, K9 for responding. Our agreements aren't legally binding at all.

The legal office on the military base told me that if he's cheating with a civilian, that nothing much will happen. Although, the lawyer thought he was demonstrating all the signs and told me to protect myself and the kids.

However, his job could be in jeopardy if he is cheating with a military person.

I feel like I'm scared to believe what is in front of my eyes because its so hurtful. Hurtful that he would do that to me (and his family) and the fact that he isn't the man I thought he was.

norabird posted 3/14/2014 09:54 AM

I'm so sorry. I think it will be / has been hard to get answers because your husband keeps all the power in this relationship to himself. You work so hard to be a good wife, he works....not at all on being a good husband.

If MC didn't work, could you try IC? You have let your husband steamroll you and minimize your feelings, and seem to have trouble being assertive about demanding what you need. Instead you try to 'nice' him into seeing what you deserve, hoping he will change.

It is a hard situation and I don't know what the future holds for your M but I do know it would be good for you if you could start focusing on yourself and in that way gaining back some of your independence. You need to know you don't have to be with him and can do just fine on your own. That way if he doesn't give you what you need you will have the backbone to stand up for yourself.

Hugs and strength.

tushnurse posted 3/14/2014 11:00 AM

Nakeya Welcome, you will find much support here, and many folks who have walked in your shoes or close to it.

Personally I think you have allowed yourself to be steamrolled into submission and playing the perfect wife, I don't know who "Michele Weiner-Davis'" is but am guessing she is of the philosophy that you have to give up your self esteem, and respect to keep a M happy and healthy?

Basically at the end of the day your H had an A of some sort. He had fresh condoms, so he was either actively having sex with someone and needed new ones, or was contemplating and sister if they are thinking about it, they may as well be doing it. He blocked you out of all his devices, and mail etc to keep you from obtaining proof. The fact that he is showing a minimal effort tells me that he is either done with that A, or is scared out of his mind how bad this is going to turn out if you do D him. Which tells me you are in a great position to move forward and get strong.

You are going to find that if you just let this go and continue to play happy wife that he will do it again, and resort to old behaviors. So now would be the time to plan on what you are going to do when that happens. My suggestion would be to plan your exit strategy, and get out what we call around here your Bitch Boots. Then you can really lay out the rules and needs going forward.

No one as far as I am aware saved their marriage by being nice, and allowing their WS to get away with being bad, and abusive. Please take the time to read in the healing library, and start to make you and your kids the focus of your attention. Put you and the kids first in all you do.

I am betting this all still feels very raw, and scary since you never had real resolution.
I am going to give you my standard to do list that I give all BS's. You can see that you have done some of this already.

1. See a Dr, get STD tested, the whole panel. If you don't have proof of cheating, sometimes this gives it faster than anything, it sucks but it is the reality of it. Cheaters lie, and they are good at it.

2. See a lawyer, and find out your rights, his obligations, and start figuring out how to protect you and your kids. (done this good job)

3. Figure out if you want to R, why you would want to R. For some of us Cheating is a deal breaker, for others the continued lying and deceit is a deal breaker, for others we just keep taking the punishment, and work toward R.
If you do want to R, then figure out exactly what your requirements of him are, and what those consequences will be. Be prepared to carry through.

4. Start squirreling away funds, here and there. If he is cheating with a coworker this could be financially devastating to you as SAHM. Again protect you, make you and the kids your top priority.

Know that whatever you choose to do, we got your back. We may come across as harsh, and even mean at times, but that usually stems from our own personal pain, and we really really really hate to see others make the same stupid preventable mistakes we made.

Keep reading, keep posting.

((((and strength))))

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