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My Heart is Breaking

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Jrand posted 6/22/2014 17:34 PM

I have been married to my husband 9 years this September. I was using our ipad this week and it has a photostream from my husband's phone on it. I saw a photo of him (without his face showing) with his shirt unbuttoned. He travels every week on a project to another state. I called him and asked him what this was. After some hemming and hawing, he said he had been looking at ads on Craigslist casual encounters because he was bored and it was a game to see if he could get actual photos. He profusely apologized and swore up and down that he himself had not placed ads, just had looked at them and exchanged emails back and forth with women. He stated most were spam and he lost interest but that he had sent this one picture that night to try to get a photo of someone he was emailing. When he returned home this week, I asked him to hand over all his email addresses/passwords so that we could determine if he was being truthful. He did so and I looked at the email account and there was nothing in it (he of course had deleted everything). He again apologized profusely, saying it was a stupid, stupid game and he was bored while traveling and would never do it again. I decided to log-in to craiglist with this email address and then discovered four ads he actually had placed. Three were in the state he travels to and one was in our hometown. The ads ranged from asking to meet for oral sex (for him and for her) to looking for 'dates' on very specific nights. I called him (he was again traveling) and he was stunned I had found it. He again apologized and began saying it was all a game, he just did it to see if he could get women to reply because it was easier to post ads than reply to them. He swore he never actually communicated with anyone outside of emailing photos. I am devastated. I told him when he returned home last night that I wanted the whole truth or I was going to start packing with our son. We sat down and he proceeded to tell me that he did talk with two women on the phone and that he did go pick up one of them and brought her back to his hotel where she performed oral sex on him topless and he fondled her. He then drove her home. She apparently tried to contact him several more times but he did not reply (this was in April). Then he told me that he was placing 4 ads a week on Craigslist and backdoor and was replying to up to 15 women at any one time. I asked him if this was EVERYTHING and he said yes. I looked in his eyes and I could tell there was more. I asked him what and he admitted to going to a massage parlor a couple of weeks ago and getting a happy ending. This was too much. About 2 years ago, I caught my husband doing this - going on and finding places to go. He fondles them while they 'massage' him. When it happened, I called an attorney and was ready to be out the door when he begged and cried and begged some more for a second chance. It was heartbreaking to see, so I did - I gave him a second chance and we discussed he couldn't do anything even remotely worrisome for me and he said he would never want to lose me and he never would. Fast forward to today where I have been asking him why? and that he KNEW in no uncertain terms he had made a decision to end our marriage. He did the same thing - cried and begged and cried and begged and suggested counseling and begged that I not move out and to give him TIME...he needs TIME to deal with this. I have been throwing up non-stop for three days. My heart races and my blood pressure goes through the roof. My arms tingle. I throw up again. I cry and sob and nothing will bring relief. I feel like I have died inside. I have never known this kind of destruction and pain. Why haven't I left? Why am I having to drag every detail out of him and why do I care? I think there is more that happened - I feel it, but again he swears that's it. I am broken.

[This message edited by Jrand at 10:13 PM, June 22nd (Sunday)]

self-rescuer posted 6/22/2014 17:54 PM

Sweetie, you are in shock. Mu heart is broken for you. Your immediate focus must be self care. Do you have anyone near that can come stay with you? Your husband is in full blown spin mode now and will not recognize how much you are agonizing or the physical toll this discovery is taking on your body.

Also, he does not deserve one single second to deal with his feelings. You offered him the gift of a second chance and he squandered it for meaningless Craigslist thrills.

He has shown you how selfish he is. He chose to devastate you. His decision. Now you must choose your next course of action. Take your power back. Don't allow him to unilaterally determine your future.

Drink sips of water and contact a loved one who can be there for you.

Raspberry posted 6/22/2014 20:59 PM

This is the same crap my husband did. Its absolutely devastating. I had the same reaction as you. Crying, vomiting, and my second son came a month early due to the stress.

Please take care of yourself...this hurts. They dont get what they did. It kills me inside every day.

foxglove posted 6/22/2014 21:14 PM


I'm so very sorry that this has happened to you. It's very difficult when you have repeated episodes.

First, you must take care of your own health. It's very important to eat and especially drink water or other nutritious fluids. I would also recommend that you see your primary care physician for STD testing, and possibly some anxiety medication. I know it can be embarassing, but trust me, your physician has heard it all. Also, no sex with him until he is tested for STDs. It can be tempting to reclaim your territory so to speak, but don't do it. It's also important that you get sleep when you can as you need to make important decisions right now, and sleep deprivation can hinder your decision making. Finally, you need to get into individual counseling (IC) so that you have someone to talking to in real life. I would also recommend seeing an attorney. You don't have to divorce, but it does help to gather as much information as possible, so that you can make good decisions.

I know you probably feel helpless and powerless, but you are not - the first thing you need to know, is that this is not your fault. The decision to contact anonymous women for sex is all on him.

Right now, all he is doing is talking, no action. What will be different this time around? Did he get individual counseling (IC)? Did he get to the bottom of why this happened in the first place? It's not enough for him to say he wants counseling, he needs to take the initiative to set it up. He also needs to be working on helping you heal from this devastating trauma.

If you haven't already done so, you should read the Healing Library in the yellow box in the upper left hand corner.

Keep posting, it's a little slow on the weekends.


Jrand posted 6/22/2014 22:46 PM

Thank you all for these responses. I am so confused what to do...pack up and go to my parents with our son (then suddenly they are in the middle of this), wait to see if he goes to counseling...I am just very confused. I will make a dr appt and an IC appointment for myself. Unfortunatly, I am alone all week with my son with no one that can come help. foxglove, you spoke the truth - why is there need to reclaim your territory in the midst of this insane betrayal? Especially because the idea of reconciliation is totally out at this point?

How long will these rapidly cycling emotions continue? I just want to be out of this pain...

BrokenheartedUK posted 6/23/2014 02:00 AM


Yes, you are in shock, you are reeling. This is normal. Is there any way that you can kick him out of the house for a while? It would help you gain some clarity if he wasn't around and you didn't have to pretend to you child.

Yes, your husband has royally fucked up and yes, he needs some help. As do you. That's great that you've made an IC appointment for yourself. Maybe you want to try MC as well?

Right now your body is in physiological shock and that's what you are experiencing. For me, that wore off and then I was numb for a while which gave way to anger, and then, inevitably grief. I'm sure there's more fun in my future but I'm only about 6 months in.

Be kind to yourself during this terrible time.

whereismylove posted 6/23/2014 02:25 AM

Remember the first time this happened.. you got thru it and you will again. Make sure you cry, watch sad movies..and also don't forget to sing and talk to someone. If you truly feel done then kick him out and have someone come stay with you to help. You have a death to deal with no one should go thru
that alone. The second betrayal years later is surely much harder to take than the first. Right now you need to pull your strength together and try not to let this hurt you or your son any worse than it already has. Take care of yourself and your son. Be selfish.Take long hot showers and let the tears flow have some ben&jerry's . Most importantly try to get some space from WS so he can't cry and beg. Figure out how much time you need even if its months (if you can) seperate yourself from him for a bit so you can heal enough to think.

inknots posted 6/23/2014 09:04 AM

I am so very, very sorry for the pain and devastation you are experiencing. I know it feels like you woke up inside a nightmare you cannot get away from. Please take care of yourself.

Neverwudaguessed posted 6/23/2014 09:24 AM

Can I ask if your husband went into IC the first time? If not, then there is so much unknown at this point. He probably has not been able to figure out his why or work on what he does to cope in situations of stress and sadness. So he has not then adopted any new or healthy coping mechanisms. Take a deep breath and focus on yourself. You do NOT need to know what you want to do at the moment and even if you do, that can change in the future anyway. You can see a lawyer to know what your options are, and tell him to get himself into counseling, and you should get yourself into counseling yourself to so that you have some support in sorting this all out. It is devastating, we know and we are here for you. Keep posting.

NeverAgain2013 posted 6/23/2014 11:23 AM

I was married to a serial cheater too, so I know what it's like. I don't know what counseling could possibly do to suddenly squash someone's sexual desire for other women or if even possible to do so. Some men just think they should have as much 'extra-curricular' activity as possible, and he's one of those men.

I agree that you're in shock right now, and rightly so. But as another poster said, you already went through this hell once and you laid down the law that if he ever did it again, there would be no second chances. Unfortunately, he chose not to be grateful for the gift of forgiveness and instead went right back to form - THIS time, knowing what the consequences would be.

I personally wouldn't give him another chance. But that's not up to me. Good luck to you.

watchingU posted 6/23/2014 11:48 AM

My heart is breaking for you. You are married to a serial cheater. I have traveled this road with my wh and it never ends. I liken the easy access to ow etc on the internet to placing a box of candy infront of a dieter. Their willpower to not partake of it usually fails.i am now 62 yo. I hate this life i am living. But i am stuck here due to finances. I feel like men like my wh and yours will never stop. Once they taste the forbidden fruit they just keep going back. Its better to live alone than to keep getting devastated and heartbroken. You will be repeating this heartbreak if u stay. My wh still cries and begs forgiveness too. It makes me sick to hear it. After half a dozen times it means nothing. Detach and make your escape plan.

Jrand posted 6/23/2014 12:47 PM

Neverwudaguessed - he did go to IC a while after the first episodes of 'massages' but only went a couple of times and I don't think he really got much out of it. Which leads me to this - he really KNEW it would be over if he did this. And he did it. And he said he knew eventually he would get caught. I asked him why he just didn't tell me he didn't want to be married, why he has to do this to end things. He keeps saying this is not about me - its about something wrong with him. He says it has nothing to do with me. He seems very confused. I've asked him to let me go, just to release me from all of this (let go and let me move on and divorce amicably). He is very resistant to that and says its not what he wants. He suggested a counseling plan with benchmarks where I can decide if I want to stay longer or go. He said it could be daily, weekly or monthly. I just don't understand if this is some kind of sex addiction: he was physical with one woman one time, and had one 'massage' - the rest was emailing (sex chat) and photo exchanging (with likely 100 or more women) and placing really nasty ads. I can't tell if he is just trying to get me to stay or if maybe there is something else wrong with him that is creating the need for this.

[This message edited by Jrand at 1:08 PM, June 23rd (Monday)]

k9lover1 posted 6/23/2014 12:57 PM

He put you through an excrusiating experience.

He then did it again, knowing full well the consequences. He can cry all he wants, he did this with full knowledge of the outcome.

I sincerely hope that you pay heed to this and do NOT let this happen to you again by this man.

He isn't capable of respecting you and honoring your vows. It is your life and I know it's hard to make changes - believe me I know.

But sometimes changes are what is called for. You can continue in this cycle and keep being mentally abused or you can break free and find happiness, whether that be with someone else or alone.

You deserve peace - don't let him drag you through this crap again and again and again.

ShiningAutumn8 posted 6/23/2014 13:32 PM

He keeps saying this is not about me - its about something wrong with him. He says it has nothing to do with me. He seems very confused.

This just makes my blood boil. All he cares about is HIMSELF. "Its nota bout you". devastates you to your core, causes traumatic pain to you, but its not about you??? That's ridiculous!

I've asked him to let me go, just to release me from all of this (let go and let me move on and divorce amicably). He is very resistant to that and says its not what he wants

Again, its all about HIS wants. Of course he doesn't want to let you go. Why would he want to give up a loving wife, cook, child care rearer, housekeeper, and family home life?

What he truly wants, is for you to accept him as "having a problem" and basically turn a blind eye, while he fulfills all his nasty habits online, and you continue to be doting wife fulfilling his real life sexual needs.

Its time you start taking your life into your own hands. Who cares what he wants??

Counseling is not going to fix him. He is a serial cheater.

I am so sorry hon. But you are young, and its not too late to walk away and build the life the you really deserve. Keep in mind, he'd still be doing this if you hadn't caught him. And I have no doubt no matter how much counseling he gets, he'll eventually do it again down the road. Also, I highly suspect you only have the tip of the iceburg and there has been a lot more physical encounters than he admitting to.

Make sure you get STD tested asap hon.

So sorry

seethelight posted 6/23/2014 16:04 PM

I gave him a second chance and we discussed he couldn't do anything even remotely worrisome for me and he said he would never want to lose me and he never would.

Fast forward to today where I have been asking him why? and that he KNEW in no uncertain terms he had made a decision to end our marriage. He did the same thing - cried and begged and cried and begged and suggested counseling and begged that I not move out and to give him TIME...he needs TIME to deal with this.

Sigh. I am so sorry to hear this. It happened to me, almost exactly, and it seems to be a very common scenario here.

The waywards, promise to behave, but misbehave again.

I think perhaps we have made it to easy for them, after the first offense.

But, don't make any rash decisions. Slow down and start focusing on you. Do the 180 for him, at least emotionally.

You can choose to stay in the marriage, for as long as you think it's best for you and your children, and then you can leave when you are ready, if you decide to leave.

Breath. You will survive.

I feel like I have died inside. I have never known this kind of destruction and pain.

Why haven't I left? Why am I having to drag every detail out of him and why do I care? I think there is more that happened - I feel it, but again he swears that's it. I am broken.

I know why you feel broken. You haven't left because you are in shock. Breath. You likely loved him. You are likely the giver in a relationship and he the taker.

Remember he is the one that is broken.

That doesn't mean you need to go through another dday.

Start getting your ducks in a row in case you decide divorce is your best option.

MakingMyFuture posted 6/24/2014 04:32 AM

I am so so sorry for your loss. You are going through extreme shock. Make sure you eat and sleep. You WILL get through this. Make decisions on your own time based on what YOU not pay any attention to his need for TIME or anything else.

And as with others who have guess is there is much more you don't know about and he will repeat if you stay.

I'm am so so sorry for you, but please know that you are not alone and we are all here to support you.

Jrand posted 6/24/2014 09:11 AM

Thank you all so much for your kind words and support. I am feeling worse today than yesterday if that is possible. He is traveling again and I felt the need to create a timeline for myself so I could better understand what happened when and 'get my arms sround it'. I found some receipts and went through our texts (when he travels we text all the time) and tried to put all the pieces together. I also made a list of questions I want to ask him to help me determine what might be the best path for me. Then I looked on where he placed the other ads (we looked on their together but could not find them and he thought the had expired because you have to pay for them). I found two of them and they weren't 'the same as' the Craigslist ads like he had said - these were two ads asking to meet someone he could take to dinner and drinks and then "friend with benefits" at his hotel two to three nights a week when he is traveling there. I'm not sure why this makes a difference at this point but I am so angry. This is not a one night stand or a fling - this is a full on planned and executed search for a woman to have a relationship with. I of course was spinning all night and didn't go to bed and here I am alone with our son (1year old). I won't be able to talk to him until tonight to even discuss the NEW discovery. How am I going to make it through 7 hours?! I am pacing and angry and crying and I just didn't think it could get worse. Somehow these new ads make it so much worse...I find myself now dissecting the last 10 years to try to determine if anything else (apart from the massage parlors two years ago). I just can't seem to stop spinning.

[This message edited by Jrand at 9:12 AM, June 24th (Tuesday)]

siff posted 6/24/2014 09:31 AM

You asked
Should I go to my parents?

They can care for you and your one year old

IF you want D
Start to get your ducks in a row

IF he wants to change, fix his sh!t, etc
Great. Do that
Then he can start to try to earn back your trust with a long history of trustful actions/behaviors.
But he doesn't have to be married to you to do that
and you don't have to wait and see what he wants

You first
YOU are the prize
A prize that he doesn't deserve right now

Jrand posted 6/24/2014 10:08 AM

siff - you just made me cry! Thank you for reminding me that. I am the prize. And I didn't really think about it but I don't have to be married to him while he works through his crap. Thank you. That really helps right now.

The only thing about going to my parents is that there will be NO option EVER for R if I do (not that I'm saying there's room for that anyway - I have no idea what I'm doing from one second to the next). But they would never allow him in their home or company again if they knew what has happened. It would add a whole other level of issues with them telling me what to do.

seethelight posted 6/24/2014 10:37 AM


Do not tell your parents or any relatives until you are sure you DO NOT WANT TO RECONCILE.

My MC warned me about this, too.

As you already noted, reconciliation might be impossible at that point.

It seems as if your husband's heavy usage of porn has led to the affair choice. This is all too sad an common in our society today.

He needs professional help.

He may try to blame you and say you were not interested in sex while pregnant or after the baby, but do NOT ACCEPT THIS BLAME.

It is normal to be exhausted after pregnancy and birth and while caring for a baby, and your husband if mature should understand this.

He is not mature. It is not your fault.

If I were you, I would ask him to do a polygraph test.

You need the truth in order to go forward.

Google polygraph test in your area. They can cost between $200 and $600, but you need it to move forward and to know EXACTLY what you are dealing with.

Also insist that HE get STD tested. It's humiliating to be tested and if he is positive you are likely positive, but if he is negative for STD, likely so are you.

Meanwhile, don't make any important decisions. See an attorney only to learn your rights and to freeze joint bank accounts as he is obviously spending marital assets on sluts.

That money belongs to you and your child.

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