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Husband on online dating websites...what do I do?

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dramaticsoprano posted 7/4/2014 20:24 PM

Hi all,

Me: BS - 33
Him: WS - 37
Married 3 years, Together for 5
DD due 9/14

I am currently pregnant with my first child and have been married to H for 3 years. We've been together for 5. Before we were married, he told me he used to have a problem and had cheated on previous ex-girlfriends, but he had handled those issues and that would never be a problem.

When we first got married we went through a rough patch and I looked on his phone and found text messages between him and a girl he had met on an online dating website. It turns out he actually met this woman when I was out of town on business. He said nothing happened and he only met her to feel like he was still attractive to women. He promised he would never do it again and (stupidly, I know) I believed him.

The next year went by uneventfully (I thought). Then two years ago, we started trying to have children and I suffered through several miscarriages, before finally becoming pregnant with this child. The repeated miscarriages really took a toll on me emotionally and I think on our relationship. We were arguing a lot and not being intimate very often. Throughout the pregnancy our relationship has been rocky. H has a severe anger problem and since we got married has snapped and screamed and threatened me and broken several things (broke bedroom door, punched hole in wall, broke steering wheel by punching it, etc.). He has never hit me but has squeezed my arm and shoved me in the past.

Last week he came home and said he had gotten in trouble at work. When I asked him why, he did not want to tell me. Finally he told me he had been caught by his boss using the work laptop to communicate with women on dating websites. I was crushed. He promised he hadn't cheated on me, but I don't believe him. He promised to get help. I didn't want to talk to him the rest of the weekend, but he kept pressing me, so I pretended like everything was ok so he would leave me alone.

A couple of days later I was still feeling so devastated by what he has done. When he came home I demanded to see his phone. He reluctantly gave it to me. I read through his texts and he had been texting and meeting women. I also logged into his dating sites and saw he had been active on the sites for our entire marriage (even messaging women on the day I found out I was miscarrying, yet again). He even had a credit card I didn't know about to pay for the sites. He says he never cheated on me with any of these women and it was just because he wasn't feeling good about himself and he wanted to know that women still found him attractive. He said he would start counseling this week.

Today he was supposed to start his counseling, so I expected him to be home late, but he came home right on time. When I asked him about his appointment, he said he didn't feel like going. I said "how surprising", and he lost it. He told me to stop nagging him, that he didn't need to answer to me, and threw all of the things on our kitchen counters on the floor and stormed out.

I am so sorry for the long post, but I don't know what to do. I even asked him to set up MC for us, but he hasn't. I don't know what to believe and I don't know how to force him to follow through without him flipping out and becoming enraged. I don't want to D, but I don't want our daughter exposed to his infidelity and anger either. I can't believe how long he has been talking to these other women and I don't believe it was just talking, and, even if it was, I still feel like he betrayed me. I don't trust a word he says.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated...

[This message edited by dramaticsoprano at 8:26 PM, July 4th (Friday)]

Badhurt posted 7/4/2014 20:35 PM

Sorry this has happened. Unfortunately , you may not want to D, but if he refuses to stop this behavior you will be an emotional wreck.
You cannot control him , but you can tell him what you will accept in your marriage and what you will not.
Right now you are in an open marriage but you are an unwilling participant.
I would see an attorney to find out your rights. You need to protect yourself

painfulpast posted 7/4/2014 20:41 PM

Oh honey, he did betray you. You had every expectation that the man you married would NOT spend his days on dating websites to see if he 'still had it'. That's pathetic.

Him not going to counseling is wrong - very wrong. He's hiding from what he's done, and acting like it's not a big deal. It's a very big deal. He's being hurtful, disrespecting you, and betraying you. You know full well that if you were the one chatting with men from dating sites, he would lose his mind. That alone proves he knows it's wrong.

Here's the thing - you can't control him. It would be easy if you could, but you can't. You can, however, control your reactions. If he won't go to counseling, start the 180. You can read that in the Healing Library, found on the upper left corner of the page. If he won't stop the sites and provide you full access to all, then start the 180.

The 180 is designed to help you, not to manipulate him to change. It helps you detach. It helps you see how strong you really are, since these things have a way of beating us down. It's always one more thing. Accept something, convince yourself it's not so bad, and then the next thing hits. Accept it, convince yourself it's not so bad, and the next thing hits, and so on. It's easy to get sucked into all of it and question yourself. The 180 is fantastic at getting out of that rut.

It's horrible that you're pregnant. I was cheated on when I was pregnant. We ended up working it out, but when it happened - wow, it was unreal. Just indescribable.

You did NOTHING wrong. You didn't cause this. Your H should not care who finds him attractive, as long as you do. He's extremely insecure, and you shouldn't have to pay for that.

Please, read the 180. Keep posting. Ask questions, but don't think for one second you're stuck dealing with this kind of emotional abuse. You aren't.

Schadenfreude posted 7/4/2014 20:42 PM

I'm not a psychologist or therapist. But he seems to have multiple problems. Anger management and sex addiction.

Read the sex addicts thread I I Can Relate to see if those many stories seem familiar to you.

When looking at or texting strange women is more important than his job and his marriage, he has a problem.

Can you fix it? No you cannot. Can he get help? Yes, if he chooses,to do so. But he won't so far.

Ever read about alcoholics hitting bottom? He needs the equivalent.

You can suggest but not command him to get counseling.

Or you can start to detach.

Lostly posted 7/4/2014 20:43 PM

I'm sorry, but need to put a plan in place for your safety NOW. Your first concern MUST be your safety and that of your unborn child. Domestic violence increases considerably during pregnancy, and a woman's chances of being seriously hurt or killed are higher during pregnancy at any other time. Do you have family or friends in the area that you can call if your WH gets out of control? Do you have a neighbor who you can run to if need be?

Your situation is really unsafe right now. I am so sorry you are dealing with this. Please make sure you get a plan in place TODAY! ((((hugs))))

dramaticsoprano posted 7/4/2014 21:23 PM

He just came back and we talked, and he basically said he was behaving this way because he is under stress and he feels like I have not been comforting him. I told him I don't feel safe with him, emotionally or physically and I don't know how he expects me to comfort him considering what he has done. I told him how unacceptable his behavior is, especially screaming at me and throwing things. He kept saying he just needs his wife to comfort him and I just can't. I feel so numb right now. I don't even want to be near him, let alone comfort him.

My family doesn't know about any of the bad things going on in our marriage and and they live far away or I would just leave and spend a few days getting my head together. I will read up on the 180, thanks for suggesting that.

I just feel like I can't believe this is my life. All I wanted was a loving marriage and a family, and now everything is falling apart....

I feel so conflicted. I actually feel guilty for not "being there" for him right now, But another part of me feels like that is ridiculous.

dramaticsoprano posted 7/4/2014 21:25 PM

I am also unsure of how to make sure this doesn't happen again. I mean, I can tell him not to talk to these women ever again. But he has a cell phone and internet access, so anytime he wants to go back to the dating sites, there's nothing to stop him. I don't know how to hold him accountable other than asking to see his phone every night, but considering he has access to the laptop at work, even that might not be enough.

better4me posted 7/4/2014 23:04 PM

I'm so sorry that you find yourself here, in the club that no one wants to belong to. You'll find lots of support here from people who have been through what you are going through.

First thing to do is to read through The Healing Library which you can find in the yellow box on the left hand corner of any page. That's where you will find information on the 180 as well as lots of other useful information.

It sounds like your Husband is doing a lot of blame shifting right now. Blaming you for his behavior. This isn't your fault. Bad marriages do not cause this kind of behavior. Lots of people have relationships where they don't always "comfort" or support a spouse--most of those spouses find ways of dealing with their behavior other than contacting women on dating sites. THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. He will try to make you believe it is. It isn't!

You need to be a little bit selfish right now. Take as much time as you need to figure out what your boundaries are, what behavioral changes you want and need to see from him, what expectations you need him to meet. You've got some power right now. Use it to set limits and insist on changes.

There is a saying in the Employee Assistance Field "When there is smoke on the job, there is a raging inferno at home". The fact that he is "in trouble" at works says to me that his behavior has really crossed a line at work and is much much bigger than he is admitting to. And it won't get better until he does admit to it.

Get some therapy for yourself. Make an appointment. You are going to have problems seeing things clearly as he is going to throw all sorts of smoke and mirrors...someone uninvolved in the situation may make things more clear to you.

Take care of yourself. Keep posting here. We are here to offer help and (((hugs)))

ArkLaMiss posted 7/4/2014 23:35 PM

You nerd STD testing done and to talk to an attorney about your rights. Personally, I'd make him sign a post nup if you stay. At this point, you need to leave, though. He's abusive and needs lots of help that you cannot provide. He's hoping you will rugsweep. If you leave, it shows him you are seriously not taking any more crap. Hugs.

cantgetup posted 7/5/2014 01:01 AM

My opinion? Get out now while you still can. You have multiple multiple issues on your hands all of which are your husbands problem. 100%. Don't ask for MC. It will be futile at this point. If you don't get out now (without him doing a complete turnaround, which will likely take years as obviously these are life long issues for him) this will be your life for the rest if your life. I'm so sorry. Forger about him and take care of what you can take care of which is you and your baby. He's a lost cause right now.

mandolin555 posted 7/5/2014 10:36 AM

Comfort HIM???!!!! Yes...of course. That makes sense. The pregnant, abused (emotionally,verbally and sometimes physically) woman should be a better wife and comfort the lying, cheating manipulative husband who's about to get fired, can't keep promises and hasn't been true to the marriage EVER.

1. He's had sex with these women. If you don't believe me, that's your choice...but it's the truth.

2. There's a reason he expects you to comfort him right now. You've done nothing wrong but please read co-dependency books.

3. If you don't leave will later. Trust me. He'll hit you or blatantly cheat on you.

Considering he's volatile, you might should come up with a plan...keep it to yourself and then execute it later. He's not changing.

sadinscotland posted 7/5/2014 15:37 PM

Sorry to read your story.
I was in a similar position to you and I left. It was hard but ultimately the right thing to do for me and my little one.
Tell your family. If you don't feel safe with your husband leave. I spent a week sleeping with the bedroom door locked after a violent episode with my husband (he lost his temper with the baby and when I intervened tried to hit me)(this on our second wedding anniversaryÖ).
Leaving was hard but ultimately the right thing to do. He now minimises all the stuff he did on the dating sites (a fantasy that got out of hand according to him) and the aggression he showed towards the baby and me (according to him he didn't hurt the baby and didn't hit me so what's the problem?).
The problem though is that the sex dating site action is infidelity according to me and the values I live by and I refuse to live in fear of violence. I won't subject my little one to this kind of behaviour and so now I supervise all of his visitation with the baby.

You need to be with people who really love you and care about you.
Don't go through this alone.

RippedSoul posted 7/5/2014 16:07 PM

One sign of addiction is that the irresponsible behavior continues at the expense of EVERYTHING: marriage, health, career, reputation. Obviously, I'm not able to diagnose him, but I would suspect a sex addiction. SAs can never be cured, but they can reach a remission of sorts--with a LOT of work. On their parts. But, first things first, he needs to see an IC (and perhaps a CSAT--certified sex addiction therapist) for a diagnosis. If he's not interested, then I think leaving is the safe option for you and your soon-to-be-babe. Hugs!

Skan posted 7/5/2014 17:19 PM

Hey there. I'm glad that you found us for support. I'm NOT glad that you had the reason to come find us, but I am glad that you DID find us, so we can help support you.

I'm going to be really blunt here. I apologize, because you probably are hoping that itís not really all that bad and that with a minor tweak here and there, the two of you will be in perfect harmony for the next 50 plus years. God knows that thatís what I was hoping too, and I consider that my FWH and I now have a pretty good marriage Ö ďafter.Ē

He told you up front, that he was a cheat. Yeah, he said that he handled all of those issues and that it wasnít going to be a problem, but with the clear view of hindsight, he told you up front that he was a cheater.

When you were first married, during the time that you should have been in the honeymoon phase and crazy, over-the-moon in love, and not looking at anyone or anything else, he was cheating on you with an on-line site. And yes, it was cheating. He was giving his emotional time and energy to another woman. Thatís called an emotional affair. No matter if its with one woman over a period of time, or if itís with 10 different internet women in 10 days. Itís still affairs of the emotions taking away from you and betrayal of your wedding vows.

Your relationship all along has been rocky, been punctuated by periods of his inability to control his anger, and his acting out at you. While youíve suffered through many miscarriages, heís been using you as his emotional punching bag all along. He has destroyed or damaged belongings and has handled you with, if not explicit violence, then with intimidation and in a threatening way.

Now, his job is in danger because of his on-line activities. His on-line betrayal of your wedding vows. And all he can say to you is to quit nagging him. To be his comfort. To put aside your self-respect, your justifiable feelings of betrayal, and your common sense, and to be exactly what he needs you to be Ö. or what? Heíll punch through another wall? Or you.

IMO, you have married an abuser. An abusive man who will at some point, hit you, hurt your unborn child, and who probably has physically betrayed you already. I urge you, on Monday, to call you OB/GYN and make an appointment to have a full STD/HIV panel of tests run, because your health, and the health of your unborn child depends upon it. I would also urge you to make your second call to a good lawyer (or multiple), and make appointments to seek counseling to learn what your rights are in case of divorce. You need not act upon their council, but you need to know, for your sake, and for the sake of your child, what your rights are. And I would also urge you to call either a domestic abuse line in your area, or to call the national domestic abuse hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and speak to someone there. I am very afraid that you are being led down a slope that is going to end in violence. Unfortunately, I speak from previous knowledge.

Donít stop posting. We are all here to support you. Come back often for support. (((hugs)))

Bookworm428 posted 7/5/2014 18:14 PM

Sweetie this is going to be hard to hear, but have a baby due soon??? You need to figure all this out before that because I PROMISE you that a newborn is going to strain your relationship even further. Between the emotional toll (post-partum depression and baby blues) the lack of sleep and everything else that comes with a new baby, it makes me nervous that he's already angry and somewhat violent. You CANNOT be too careful about that with a small baby because even rock solid marriages are put to the test with a new child. My H and were on great terms when our DD was born and it almost tore us apart right there. This was before the A, but I digress. Sorry you're in this situation. I don't want to bad mouth your H because you know him and this situation better than anybody, but a real man wouldn't be putting you through all this when you're going through a pregnancy. A real man wouldn't do it at all, but when you're pregnant? That's low.

meleanoro posted 7/5/2014 22:56 PM

Like the others, I'm going to give you some tough love. But first, I'm going to say I understand where you are, how younfeel, and how difficult this is.

See my profile? It says joined 2005. My posts from that time are gone, but I came here in a very similar situation as yours. I wasn't pregnant, but many other things (dating sites, phone sex with others, cybersex, porn) were a problem.

At SI, people wisely told me to get the heck out, and he wouldn't change. I rationalized him/it by thinking he was young, he'd outgrow it, if I loved him enough he'd stop, and on and on.

Now, I'm married, and my marriage is marred with secrets, lies, blameshifting AND my husband doing what yours does: asking for my fucking pity/sympathy.

Honey, I know with you being pregnant, it's super scary and uncertain righht now. But this man, your husband, is damaged.

And You.Cannot.Fix.Him.

He can only fix/change himself, and he's not invested in doing that.

No amount of love, pity, whatever on your part will make him change. And that is NOT a reflection of your worth or value. It's a reflection of how unhealthy and messed up he is.

Read about the 180 for you. If you need help working on stratgies to get out, be financially solvent, etc., post here. We'll help. And feel free to pm me if you just want someone to listen.

dramaticsoprano posted 7/6/2014 13:00 PM

Good afternoon everyone,

Thank you so much for your support and your advice. We went out to dinner and a movie last night and all I felt was awkward and sad. It was like going on a date with a stranger. I feel emotionally unstable and I have been snapping at him for every little thing. He had a toothache and I felt no sympathy for him. I feel like a bad person for not being able to forgive him.

Many of you think he had PAs with the women he met. I am still unsure. I'm not sure if it even matters. I will ask for an STD panel at my next appointment. I did have one at the beginning of my pregnancy and tested negative for everything.

Part of me feels very much in denial. I hear a lot of advice telling me to leave and, at the moment, it seems unthinkable. I feel shock, like, "Is it really THAT bad?". I feel like if I were to leave, that would be such a complete and final decision. I have nowhere to go, my family isn't here. I make a very good living at my job (I'm the major breadwinner), but I also live in a very expensive part of the country and it would be very hard to leave. I'm wary to tell my family or friends, because I know they would turn against H. I don't know why I feel so dedicated to keeping up the charade of a happy relationship. I think part of it is that I don't want them to view H as a monster (he went through horrible things as a child and I feel like they have contributed towards who he has become). I also think I don't want to be viewed as someone who made a terrible choice in a spouse. Like a failure.

Really I just want my husband back. When I met him, he was so quiet and thoughtful and gentle. He made be feel like a beautiful, feminine lady. He treasured me. And this person he is now seems so entirely different. I wonder which personality was real. Somewhere, inside, I feel as though I pushed him to this. If I had been a better wife and a better person, he would not have done these things to me. I feel worthless and unlovable. And at this moment, even more terrified of being a mother. If I am the type of person who can be treated like this, that would allow myself to be treated like this, what kind of mother will I be? How can I be a role model to her?

I agree with everyone that he has serious issues. I don't know how to make him truly see how precarious our situation is. I don't know if R is possible. I don't know if we can come back from this. I feel so terrible for this unborn child. She had no choice about whose family she will be born into. I don't want her to grow up without a father (like my H did). I also don't want to live my whole life in a unhappy marriage.

I'm sorry if I seem like I'm stalling and not taking any action. But I feel frozen. I feel incapable of making any decisions.

Thank you for listening again...

[This message edited by dramaticsoprano at 1:00 PM, July 6th (Sunday)]

StrongAlone posted 7/6/2014 21:18 PM

Listen, you don't need to do anything right now but take care of yourself and that baby growing inside of you. Tell yourself that you do not need to make any decisions right now, that's perfectly alright. You probably are in shock and denial, that's normal, it protects us from feeling too much pain all at once.

Your story caught my eye because it is a familiar story to me as well. I too wasn't ready to move on until I'd caught my husband for the 3rd time, same sort of online business, and yes by that point he knew the stakes were losing his family and he did it anyways. You too will not be able to show your husband how serious this is, he either gets it or he doesn't. You telling him how serious you are will not change his behavior, he has to want it.

If you want to give him another chance, I totally get it. I've been there. At least your eyes are open now, you can get your ducks in a row for the possibility that he won't change and at some point it will become unacceptable to you.

This is really tough, I'm so sorry for what your going through.

meleanoro posted 7/7/2014 00:24 AM

^^^what strongalone said.

I felt guilty I wasn't taking action, then guilty over the idea of leaving. It was all a huge disarray. I felt stupid and weak. It was awful.

That part of you apologizing/feeling bad to us (I did this, too :) is related to these possible parts of you that:
-puts others ahead of yourself
-wants to please
-doesn't want to hurt people
-thinks to yourself, "I don't matter"

I was struck by what you noted about your husband's nature. I fell for mine for similar qualities. Many books helped me deconstruct this and see there's a big duality at play with him. It's disorienting and difficult for us to comprehend--the two faces of one person.

You do not have to take action now. It's better to wait until, as strongalone noted, you have a more clear picture of what you're dealing with. Right now is an emotionally volatile time for you, and if you wait to make decisions until you feel more stable, it will help your sanity.

I want to repeat, his choices are NOT your fault. Not your doing. This is a problem deep within him.

The website offers a free workshop for partners of people affected by the sexual behaviors of others. It helped me greatly. One specific way it can help you is to give you clarity on your options. Leaving is not your only option. You can work on crafting boundaries to peotect yourself, without having to leave right now.

(((((((Very big hug)))))))

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