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MissP posted 6/30/2014 13:36 PM

Well, I never thought I'd find myself here. I tied a rope and held on for as long as I could, and I guess 10 years is my limit. It's been 25 hours since finding the wayward e-mail that shifted my world, and I am still reeling.

Here's the thing. My spouse is a cancer survivor, and came out of remission with a burning desire to "live life." Part of it was great - we traveled, we enjoyed lots of family time, we did things that most people only dream of. The dark side of this was my sudden inability to satisfying him in the bedroom - he wanted more. He wanted all those wild things he saw on the porn sites, and couldn't understand a) why it bothered me that even our 5 year old son knew what daddy was watching, and b) that the expectations of me becoming a porn queen were somewhat unrealistic and a whole lot demeaning.

I guess I fell into a complete co-dependent role though, trying to negotiate compromises that might help satiate his "needs." We did nude beach/swing trips, we did parties, I gave him full permission for massages and whatever he needed to try. I tried to set one boundary - don't violate my trust, and hurt my heart by making it personal with anyone. Well, the first time I forgave. The second time, I threw the computer at him….then forgave. The third and fourth time, I just figured that it was my fault for not being what he wanted, and I deserved it. This year, we had a full on cyber-affair, ended in a physical one, I found out, tears, remorse, all the right words and a promise. Clearly, I'm here now, and we all know that the promise was broken.

I feel like a complete fool. What is worse is that I am a smart person - a college professor of psychology for GOD's sake. We've been married for 21 years, and I just cannot believe that I have landed here. I am without tether, and just don't know what to do.

The tears and negotiations have started. The "right" words are being said. I have insisted that he not come home until I have proof that he has arranged for an addiction counselor, and committed to once a week therapy. I'm reading, stewing, crying and all the while trying to not let my adult child see that his mother is a failure.

What now? Help me.

heforgot posted 6/30/2014 13:43 PM

While I have no advice to give, I wanted to let you know that you've been heard. You will find a lot of support on SI. You've come to the right place.

yearsofpain25 posted 6/30/2014 13:54 PM

Ugh MissP. That's heartbreaking. Please know that this is not your fault no matter what your background or education. These things become impossible to negotiate sometimes when your loved one's are involved. Your husband is clearly broken.

Going forward, please for yourself, no more compromises. Ever. Unless you enjoy the open marriage lifestyle then all the power to you. Doesn't sound like you really wanted to be in that position though. So no more compromises regardless. You have to stand up for yourself and start playing hardball with an unremorseful H. Yes, unremorseful. It's too early for him to have full remorse. He's in the regret for getting caught stage. Him going to independent counseling (IC) is a good first start.

Next up, consult with a lawyer. This does not mean you have to file for divorce. Consulting with an attorney will serve multiple purposes. If anything should happen and go south, you will know your rights. Knowing your rights will give you insight into any sort of decisions you want to or don't want to make. It will also show your H that you are not screwing around and are now standing up for yourself.

Gently here, he's a liar and a cheat. Who knows what else he has done. I bet you do not know the entire truth yet. Please get tested for STDs. There are so many here who wound up with something they didn't want because someone in the relationship was lying even though they swear that they weren't when using/not using protection. If he was "living life to it's fullest", you can be guaranteed protection was not used. Other's in open M's here found the same and it was another trust that had been broken.

You have seen what playing the nice wife has gotten you. You cannot nice your H back into an infidelity free relationship if that is what you want. Start by getting all of his passwords and access to anything else that you need, phone, tablets, computer, etc. Who knows what else he's hiding. It's his responsibility to prove his innocence as he already has given enough proof that he isn't. It's also his responsibility to give you reasons to stay. He has already given you reasons to leave. Tell him as much.

So welcome to SI. You are also going to get hit with a lot of abbreviations on this site. You can find most of the abbreviations here in the upper left corner in the Healing Library. Please check that section out.

Read up on the 180 so that you can decide if you want to use it later. It is designed for you to detach and can be found under BS FAQ here:

And more 180 info under the target thread here:

I would also recommend reading these target threads in the Just Found Out forum:

Tactical Primer

Great Posts for Newbies to Read

Boundaries and Consequences 101 for all new BS

Before You Say Reconcile...

For the foggy, unremorseful, cake eaters:
20/20 Hindsight: What I should have done when I J F O

Please read these as well as prep for any sort of upcoming confrontation that you may have with him:

Very sorry you find yourself here Miss P but welcome to over 40,000 of your new best friends. We are here for you. Keep reading. Keep posting.


OakStreet posted 6/30/2014 13:58 PM


YOU are not the failure - don't even go there.

Others will be along with more concrete advice, I'm still wallowing in indecision myself, but read The Healing Library and take care of yourself!

It's good you found this site so soon after discovery - it will provide a lot of advice and "talking points" to share with your WH and, hopefully, a counselor.

Good luck - you will be going through the "wringer". Others will be along.....

norabird posted 6/30/2014 15:02 PM


After so many betrayals and so much heartbreak, I know you know not to leap at his promises of reform, as much as you want to believe them. Watch his actions and make a list of what behavior you need to see, and for how long, to even consider letting him back into your trust. He must earn his way back through committed work and follow-through--there is no shortcut.

MissP posted 6/30/2014 15:06 PM

So, what did I do today? Doctor appt. for STD and sleep meds. Got first meeting for COSA at 5:00 today. Demanded that he not come home until a counseling appointment is scheduled.

Sitting now, realizing that I have no idea how to create boundaries that I can stick with - I fall for puppy eyes every damn time. Must now schedule surgery to install a stronger spine.

yearsofpain25 posted 6/30/2014 15:12 PM

Must now schedule surgery to install a stronger spine.

You already did that too by coming here. That's what we are here for. To help support you but, ultimately you have to do the hard work.

Did you read up on the 180? It's for you to detach and get yourself into a better head space. So that you are not so dependent and when he bats those puppy dog eyes at you, you won't be so vulnerable. And don't worry if you struggle with the 180 at first if you decide to use it. Everyone does.

Good to get the STD test. What about contacting a lawyer in your state so that you can learn what your rights are?


MissP posted 6/30/2014 15:23 PM

I'm in a no-fault, 50% of everything state. He knows it, too. We don't have children under age 18, so it's pretty simple to split assets when no custody or alimony is on the table. Fortunately, I own my own property and car.... It all comes down to me believing that I stay by choice not obligation or guilt -and for him to realize that I truly will exit if need be. I'm reading the 180 now, and it's making a lot of sense.

yearsofpain25 posted 6/30/2014 15:27 PM

Not that I think you need to, but have you ever thought of looking into CoDA meetings? There are many members here that go to them. Not sure if this is something you need though but upon rereading your first entry above it did pop into my head:

ETA - This thread was also just started in the General section just now if you have any interest.

[This message edited by yearsofpain25 at 3:39 PM, June 30th (Monday)]

doggiediva posted 6/30/2014 15:33 PM

Oops, we cross posted..Whew! You succeeded in getting your cheating spouse out of the house!..

You have space to think, cry, scream! Don't let your WH come back home any time soon!

None of this is your fault..

Don't even think about R, unless or until you are financially and legally protected should your path go to divorce..

Does your WH have his own retirement savings or does he take a portion of yours in divorce?

There are so many people (myself included) who feel stuck and would give their eyeteeth to start a new life WITHOUT their WS without facing financial ruin..I am a retiree who lives in a 50/50 no fault divorce state.. In the case of divorce, my deadbeat WS will rape me to financial ruin ..

Marriage should not be an excuse for one to enjoy his or her life at the expense of a spouse's physical and mental health...

[This message edited by doggiediva at 3:41 PM, June 30th (Monday)]

doggiediva posted 6/30/2014 15:51 PM

That stronger spine is gotten thru anger....
If it is possible at all, it is thru fire/energy that a new self/marriage is created....
New marriage may not be possible unless or until your WS is willing to change.. He needs to validate you and your concerns..Recognize that your boundaries are sound ones that are reasonable enough to follow and stay within..

yearsofpain25 posted 6/30/2014 15:54 PM

Listen to doggiediva^^^^ She's a vet and really knows her stuff.

doggiediva posted 6/30/2014 16:02 PM

I thought about PMing you with help on boundaries, but maybe putting my thoughts down publicly will help others too..

Boundary #1..

He/She has to come clean..Completely... The first time..A failure to do so can result in complications, i.e. one of them being a requirement to take a polygraph..

Boundary #2

He/She has to protect you financially..This looks different to different folks depending on their circumstances..Your WH's shenanigans should not have to affect your future going forward...In other words you shouldn't have to feel financially stuck in a marriage that you want or NEED to get out of...
You trusted your WS enough to share a life with him/her for so many years..

Boundary #3

WS needs to do whatever it takes to make you a priority when it comes to healing from this stuff...He/She doesn't get to be the victim who didn't get his/her needs met...

Other boundaries still brewing in my head...This post may get many many edits, lol

[This message edited by doggiediva at 4:07 PM, June 30th (Monday)]

Compartmented posted 6/30/2014 18:21 PM

trying to not let my adult child see that his mother is a failure.
Let go of that! This is not your fault and you are not a failure.

There's a thread in the "I Can Relate" forum for spouses of sex addicts. I know you mentioned an addictions counselor for him, so perhaps sex addiction is part of what you are dealing with. In my experience, it is vital for you to see a CSAT as well, and not the same one he does. They can help a spouse deal with this level of betrayal and damage. COSA and CODA are good as well. It's nice to see people in real life who understand your pain. Many of us find that those groups focus more on co-dependency than we'd like. In the beginning what we need is a way to deal with the trauma.

On the first page of the "spouses/partners of sex addicts" thread , you will find a resource list with descriptions.

{{{ hugs }}}

MissP posted 6/30/2014 19:05 PM

I have a COSA meeting tonight. Figured I'd jump right in. I got my list of counselors from my insurance just now, so will be looking for someone for ME - he can look for someone for HIM. I've got to resist the urge to fix this for him. Guess I DO need the CODA folk!

Over the course of the day he has revealed that it is SO much worse than I knew. He needs sexual addiction treatment immediately. Wow. I feel like Dorothy landing in Oz for the first time, and I am unable to click my heels.....

MissP posted 6/30/2014 19:22 PM

Doggiediva -

I made the calls you suggested, and I'm in pretty good shape. Worse case scenario is better than most in terms of pensions. Law is 50% split for me, so now it's a case of choice. Not that I feel particularly lucky at the moment, but I have way more options than many. Guess that's the benefit of being married for 20 years....

Thank you for reaching out to me. Now the real work begins.

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