I've been lurking for the past month and a half, and lately I have posted some in the spouses of sex addicts thread, but I hadn't written out my story here yet. I've found this forum to be such an amazing source of knowledge and support, and I'm at once grateful for everyone here, and so sorry that you all are in this position.
I've been with my H for about 4 years, and we have two small children together, ages 2.5 and 8 months. I also have two teenagers from my first marriage. I was a single mom for about 8 years before meeting H.
When I met H it was like a fairy tale. I've had several LT relationships, and I thought I'd been in love, but none of it compared to how I felt with him. It was absolutely intoxicating. I wanted to eat breathe drink him, wrap my arms around him and never let go. The most amazing thing was that we were in perfect sync- he was as crazy about me as I was about him. Here we were in our thirties and it felt like we were teenagers.
We got pregnant with DS1 early in our relationship and we discussed all of our options but decided that we were excited to have a baby together. I dropped out of law school and took a PT job that would allow me to be home with the baby most of the time, and we juggled our schedules to avoid outside childcare. It was hectic, but it was a very good first year. Then, we decided to have a second child because the age gap between our son and my daughters was so great and we didn't want him to grow up feeling like an only. I miscarried in September 2012. It was awful- I hemorrhaged and had to have emergency surgery. Turns out I have a bleeding disorder, who knew? We had a very hard time together following that- I felt so traumatized and depressed for a few weeks. I needed his support but we fought badly and it seemed like he really closed off to me during that time. We got pregnant again last January and had DS2 in September 2013.
On March 22 of this year I discovered a secret email account on his phone when I picked it up to email myself some pictures he'd taken. He freaked out when I picked it up and it was painfully obvious that he was uncomfortable with me having it- which was out of character. The email address in his send field was unfamiliar and when I questioned him about it he made thin excuses ("it's spam" "it's for spam" "you're paranoid") but took the phone and rapidly and distractedly went to work doing something on it, making sure I could not see the screen.
We had a fight, because it was clear that he was lying. He denied anything was going on and refused to give much explanation. Classic gaslighting, which he does all the time when we argue.
He left the room and I got on the computer and hacked into that email account. I found two email exchanges with prostitutes, one from February 2, 2013, and one from March 17-20 2014, just two days earlier. There were lots of pornographic yahoo group subscriptions, and at least ten different dating/hookup site profiles. I didn't spend that long looking at it before he discovered me, so some of the details I didn't know until weeks later.
When he came back into the room we had a huge fight. I was screaming and crying. I took the boys and put them in the car. He followed me and we fought some more. Then he hit me in the face. It was the first time he'd ever done that, though he has been physically intimidating during fights before.
He left. I called the police and filed a report on the assault. I felt like my world was ending. I threatened suicide so he called the police on ME, and though they did not arrest him for hitting me they DID arrest me while I was sobbing hysterically. I was handcuffed and put in the back of an ambulance and taken to the hospital psych ward to be kept overnight. They left my babies with the man who hit me in the face, and I was told to "get over it."
So truth has trickled out over the last nearly 2 months. Turns out, in addition to the stuff in the email, he was a regular at a strip club near his work, starting about the time of my miscarriage. No wonder he'd been so cold and distant. He was getting lap dances all the time, some all-nude in the "VIP room" for $150/15min with a happy ending. He denies consummating a sexual encounter with a prostitute (though really, if a nude stripper is getting you off with her tits in your crotch, what's the dif?). He developed a relationship with one of the strippers outside the club and saw her on at least three occasions. He did a nude photoshoot for her and some graphic design work to help her start a side business, but then lost interest when it became clear she was just using him for his services and he wasn't going to get any quid pro quo. I talked to her at length- damn right I found her number and called her- and the story I got from her matched his pretty well, though he'd tried to tell me he'd only seen her once outside the club. She also told me about a text he sent her asking if she could "hook [him] up with one of her hot ass friends." Bottom line is he was in pursuit of sex big time.
So I have no idea at this point whether I know the whole truth. I feel naive if I start to think I do, but my gut feeling that there's more has started to subside. Don't know what to think about that- maybe I'm just starting to care less.
It hurts me so much that over and over he swore on everything that is holy that he was telling me the whole truth... and then there'd be WAY more.
I kicked him out immediately and we've been separated since D day. He desperately wants to reconcile. I want my family back but 1. I don't know if I can get over it and 2. I don't know if I can ever trust him again. I'm starting to make peace with the idea of divorce as a realistic option, and it doesn't sound so devastating anymore. It's starting to sound hopeful, though I'm really scared and depressed thinking of how to get from point A to point B.
He's seeing a CSAT and he seems very remorseful and open to self examination and change. But the asshole was doing this for a year and a half. All through my pregnancy with our little guy. While I was at my most physically vulnerable, he was out paying hot young women to get naked and grind on him. I can't make myself accept that and I don't want to. I feel robbed of so much. I didn't have informed consent. I would NEVER have had another child with him had I known this. I trusted him so much, always gave him the benefit of the doubt, put up with his verbal abuse because I felt like he had self esteem issues. Barf.
I'm so bitter right now. It's a very toxic relationship at this point. I'm in IC, too, and that is helping, but it also hurts to find out some of the ways my FOO issues have set me up for this. I feel like a chump. I feel pretty damn low, all around.
One thing that's been good, though, is right away after finding out I started running again. I've lost the last of my preg weight and I'm in fantastic shape again. I think metaphorically I was running away from the pain, but the results are fine with me. Fuck those strippers. I look good. I don't look 23... And that's a source of pain, but I feel good and I think the exercise has helped me ward off depression.
Anyway, thank you for reading, if you were able to get through all that. I know it was kinda rambling. I feel like I'm on an emotional roller coaster, and I feel vastly different at different times, but right now, I'm ok.
[This message edited by Rubyrain at 3:13 AM, May 14th (Wednesday)]
Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.
Usual advice for new BS's , is that there is no rush to make any decisions, to give yourself some time and space and to look after yourself, and to see how truly remorseful your partner is.
You will be constantly up and down with your emotions and changing your mind about what you want to do, this is normal.
Your husband has a lot of hard work to do to earn you back but if he is physically intimidating and has already hit you, I would be very careful. I am fortunate to have never been in that situation, but I think that would be a deal breaker for me, I don't think I would ever tolerate a man hitting a woman in any circumstance but especially when
HE is in the wrong
He is the one with the problem and the issues, and they need to be addressed and sorted before you can reconcile ( if that is what you want to do). Stay strong, please don't be tempted to let him back in until he has proven himself. He has betrayed you, hurt you and let you down big time,
You sound very strong for such early days, keep that up. Look after yourself and your little ones and you will know what is best for you and them in time
No way in HELL would I R with this person.
He had sex with these whores(you know he did) while you were pregnant. An STD can KILL an unborn child.
I can tell you...once a man hits you...he will continue to do so..until he gets help..and usually they still continue to hit you.
Stay strong. D sounds like your best option.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
I'm so sorry that you have ended up here. So, so sorry. All I can say is that at least, around here, there are plenty of us who know exactly how you are feeling. And some who can give you very helpful advice and food for thought.
It's wonderful that you have been running. This is something I haven't managed to do... yet.
DD #1 26 August 2013 - EA on FB and phone with a former flame OW#2 for about 8 months
DD #2 30 April 2014 - A lack of boundaries for 10 months in 2011 with OW#1
[This message edited by painpaingoaway at 8:00 AM, May 14th (Wednesday)]
It's inexecuseable that he got caught acting like a sleaze-ball and then slapped YOU and had you carted off to the psycho ward instead of acting like a man with INTEGRITY and putting your welfare ahead of his own. There's just NOTHING he brings to the table.
Ruby, if you choose to go back to this man after all he's done to you, then you can no longer claim victim status. It will be on you next time something happens.
Lastly, choose wisely, because your children will be dragged along for the ride.
60 years young..
You are incredibly composed under the circumstances! No matter how much of a wreck you may sometimes feel, know that you are doing great in very trying circumstances.
I think you know that the high of your infatuation with each other is not worth going back and trying again with someone who hit you and had you committed. I had that intoxicating in love feeling too--it didn't stop my ex from disrespecting me, lying to me, etc. It's not enough when the actions of mature commitment are missing.
Keep running, keep digging through your FOO issues, and try to forgive yourself for past mistakes that have contributed to your being here. The feeling of being a chump is natural but truly, you aren't to blame. You can learn from this but you were well-intentioned in being trusting, and it is not in and of itself a bad quality. Many many people misjudge their partners or have less than healthy motivations driving their relationship patterns. That's all changeable and you must be compassionate with yourself instead of feeling you have been stupid and beating yourself up.
Peace and strength.
I am going through similar circumstances right now. Not the hitting but the finding emails regarding escorts, hook-up websites. Message me if you want to chat. It's painful but the more they promise the more they lie. Daily I feel differently. My emotions are all over. You are strong now, stay strong and stay away from him.
Pain, you're right, there is more to that story. I am really angry about how it turned out, but it makes sense in context. We lived in a very remote, rural area (I've since moved to the big city), and when I reported the assault to the police, H was in the city (he'd gone to work, this all happened midday on a Saturday, and he was working that afternoon). The cop said technically he was supposed to pursue an arrest, and I said do what you want but I don't think he's going to come back and be dangerous again. Because of the distance, etc, he was not pursued. I really only reported it so I'd have record of it in case we had custody issues, etc, because I was ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN it was a deal breaker.
It was much later, like 9 or 10pm, that I was a messy wretch, calling and texting him, being extremely abusive to him and to myself, crying and saying my life was over and I'd rather die than be a single mom again. I said I didn't want to live and I was trying to figure out how to kill myself. I was desperate and I've never been so unbearably sad in all my life. I wasn't actually going to kill myself, but if I could have stopped breathing by force of will i would have.
H was still at work, and he became panicked because of the things I was saying. He called 911 and told them I was suicidal. A suicide hotline lady called me and I was pretty hostile toward her. From the stuff I said to her she decided I was indeed suicidal and she dispatched the cops.
We lived in a small town notorious for its super friendly residents, but one of the cops who showed up is the worst power tripping asshole I've seen in a uniform. Last winter, I'd seen a mother lock her child in her running car in a parking lot. She freaked out, she was crying, the baby was crying... A bunch of ladies were gathered around trying to support and problem solve. Someone called the police and this was the guy who showed up. He berated the mother for several minutes, ridiculing her loudly in front of everyone and making her feel like a horrible parent for doing this. Then he told her he would not help her, that she needed to call a locksmith or a tow truck, because he doesn't handle this kind of thing, and he drove away.
So this was the guy who came to "help" me. Not the sweet cop who'd been at my home to take my report that afternoon. He told me I'd already put the ball in motion by saying what I did on the phone, and they had no choice but to take me in, and that I would be committed for a mandatory 3 days. I was just crying on my porch, and I said- there must be someone I can talk to!? I have a 6 month old breastfed baby, I'm NOT going to kill myself, I'm just so, so sad and I don't know how to handle these feelings. I just found out the love of my life is cheating on me, and then he HIT me in the face!!! I'm so beyond sad. I said those things to convey my sadness to him.
This meant nothing to the cop. He grabbed me and with a smirky, "well, you're just going to have to get over it" he pushed me up against my van and handcuffed me. Tight. I had the marks from those cuffs for two days afterwards. He wrenched my arm up and back so I had to bend over and stand on tiptoes, and it hurt. In this position he lectured me in an almost singsong sarcastic tone about how I should've thought about this before I said that. He said my children might be taken away from me... His cruelty was truly astonishing. He is one sadistic, sick person who clearly takes pleasure from inflicting pain.
Once I was in the ambulance, the EMTs were very nice. We had to wait there for H to arrive I think..? I don't remember, actually. I know we waited and someone said he was there. They'd called him to come be with the kids. My oldest DD was 17 and though she was capable of caring for them, they wanted an adult, and they called him. The irony of that was mindblowing to me. What a fucked up system.
(He actually got the baby and followed us, hoping that the hospital would allow me to feed him.)
They kept me overnight, not for the three days threatened.
That's the longer version of the story, and it's not as much bad on H as on the officers who roughed me up.
[This message edited by Rubyrain at 12:04 PM, May 14th (Wednesday)]
It isn't true that he has NOTHING good to offer me and my children. It may be true that the bad outweighs the good and negates it, though. He's a good dad, and a pretty good stepdad. He's a doting partner, very quick to anticipate my needs and wants in many ways, and clearly tries to make me happy.
Before I found out about the infidelity, our relationship seemed mostly good. He was my best friend. We really enjoyed each other's company, and we parent well together. Occasionally we'd have big fights, and he'd do lots of blame shifting, gaslighting, and get verbally abusive. This would happen a few times a year... I don't know, every two or three months maybe. At some point after DS1 was born he began to get physically intimidating during fights. One day, about a year and a half to two years ago, he broke something and hurt his hand during a violent outburst. I told him to leave and that he was not welcome in my home until he was seeing a counselor to help him work on his anger problems.
He responded really well to counseling. Our fighting decreased dramatically and became a more normal, functional kind of couple conflict. He stopped seeing the counselor but the improvement remained for a while. It started getting worse around the beginning of this year, I think. No physical stuff, but verbal abuse was creeping back in, and the circular, tangential, blame shifting and gaslighting that drives me so crazy. Then his mother, who was a huge part of our lives, died suddenly this February and he just seemed to have a breakdown. We were all devastated but he was having a very hard time handling it. Sometimes he was great, but we argued a few times and he wasn't physical but he was really nasty to me verbally. Then this discovery came in late March and he actually hit me.
It's funny, but next to the emotional stuff and the cheating, the hitting bothers me less. Weird, I know. I must be pretty messed up. I'm not saying it's of less importance, because ultimately it's possibly the most important, just that it's more straightforward and my mind isn't having as hard a time grappling with it.
[This message edited by Rubyrain at 1:34 PM, May 14th (Wednesday)]
The first one, February 6, 2013, I have no idea. He may have done it or he may not have. His email to her is a response to her ad and the link is included. In it he says he tried to text her number but it didn't go through. She responded giving him another number and then there are no more emails. There are no big cash withdrawals during that time. His story is that he would get very sexually tense and do lots of acting out, then he'd go to the strip club and jerk off in the car and after orgasm he'd be hit by a wall of shame. And all the online accounts, the strippers, the contacting the escort, etc, he'd just want to forget it until it built up again in an escalating cycle. So he never followed through with the whore.
Who fucking knows.
[This message edited by Rubyrain at 2:19 PM, May 14th (Wednesday)]
This thread is on the same page as yours , but not sure if you saw it or have started reading it, so thought I would give you the link..
This man has no boundaries and I fear for your safety big time.
I am so disappointed. I will request my thread deleted.
Physical assault is a very large red flag. People are concerned for your safety. Many of us have not been in your situation so it's easy for us to jump the gun and say "get out". But don't mistake that for orders or judgement. No one is judging you.
One thing I want to point out. NO ONE thinks you're inferior. To handle what you have makes you very strong. We all know the sadness that you've felt. Your world was falling apart.
Honestly, from your thread, the thing that really infuriates me is the cop. You should NEVER have been treated that way at all. You did the right thing by calling about your husband hitting you. I do see where your husband was coming from when he called the police, but the way it was handled was completely botched.
It's up to you on what you're going to do. But I, and most others here, think your husband needs some serious help. Professional help. And it would probably serve you to seek MC if you decide to reconcile with him. He needs IC to find out why he behaves the way he does and probably some anger management as well.
You'll find some really good help here, so keep posting, ok? You'll get through this.
He's a doting partner, very quick to anticipate my needs and wants in many ways, and clearly tries to make me happy.
Your feelings are real to you. Your WH has made sure of that. That is the modus operandi of an abuser. Love-bomb the shit out of you in order to get you *hooked*, and then methodically de-sensitize you to the abuse as it escalates -- the proverbial "boiled frog".
Other women who experience infidelity deserve support and understanding, but a woman who experiences infidelity plus abuse just deserves orders and scorn? Is this the world's way of saying 'someone abused you, therefore you are inferior'?
Educating yourself on the cycle of abuse and emotionally-abusive relationships will do wonders for you and will help you to make sense of what is happening.
Stick around, Ruby. It is hard as hell to get away from this type of person on your own......
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.