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?