We've been married for 6 years, and he's been actively cultivating a long term emotional and sexual affair with his ex girlfriend throughout our marriage.
I found out about his affair probably three years ago. We went to counseling, but he wouldn't show me their emails or give me much detail. He blamed me. He said I was a bitch; which drove him to her arms as an escape. It was probably accurate at the time, but in my opinion that's not reason enough to have an affair. Either tell me you're unhappy and allow me the opportunity to change or just leave me.
Fast forward three years - for the most part I thought things were better. But I guess a part of me still didn't trust him. I checked his pockets and found a receipt to a restaurant that I didn't remember going to with him. I confronted him and he came clean on the affair. Turns out I was wrong about the receipt - it was to a Chinese place we go to all the time. It was definitely ours. We still had the leftovers in the fridge. I just never order the food so I got confused. Even though my evidence was wrong, I was still right.
His affair restarted within a few months of us going to counseling. I actually haven't asked if he re-started the affair while we were still in counseling or not.
I found out about the second affair in May (same OW, his ex) - but according to his fake email account and facebook messages (which he gave me complete access to this time - unlike last time) the physical affair actually ended back in February with his last contact with her through a facebook message in April. His last message left a door open. It was from him to her stating, "I just wanted to drop in and wish you a happy birthday. I'm sorry I haven't been talking to you lately, I just have a lot going on in my head right now and need some time to think." I don't REALLY want him to contact her - but I WANT that door closed. I don't know how to go about this. At the same time I actually feel bad for her. She was hurt by him too. He's lead her on for 6 years. She truly believed he'd leave me for her. I don't understand how she could knowingly try and break up a marriage, but that doesn't negate what he's put her through either.
At the same time, I've been seriously considering divorce. It doesn't seem to matter that I love him anymore. I want to focus on me. I want to be with someone that loves me and respects me. I don't feel you can cheat on your wife for six years and have any respect for them.
I'm rambling here, so I'll try and wrap this up.
What do I do now? He's agreed to a trial separation. He wants to work things out. He actually posted on the WS tonight (Trip3). He's agreed to a trial separation - but he wants it as short as possible. I want it to be at least until Christmas. I've agreed (to the separation, not the duration of the separation) because I've filed for divorce before. I don't want to file until I'm absolutely sure, because if I file, I will go through with it. I won't play "the boy who cried wolf" with the courts.
It's been three months, and I'm still angry ALL the time. I'm not sleeping. I don't trust him. My appetite is erratic. I can't concentrate, and I have to go back to school in 12 days. I have three semesters left to get my bachelors in Nursing - so I HAVE to get focused. I can't let this ruin my life.
I need help, advice, support - whatever you have to give. I need ALL the things!
I don't feel you can cheat on your wife for six years and have any respect for them.
I think you're absolutely correct.
Six years? That's malice aforethought on steroids.
I also think you're absolutely right to focus on you. It's for sure, that he won't. Do what YOU need and let him figure out what his life is going to become without you.
For the first time in our marriage my husband isn't blaming me for his bad choices.
In my mind, this is far too little, and far too late.
[This message edited by tfkeel at 7:30 AM, August 10th (Sunday)]
The facts are: You caught him having an affair. He lead you on. You caught him having an affair again. He left the door open for the AP.
Why should you believe he's not still leading you and the AP on?
I think the best path for securing your legacy is focusing on your education. Don't allow him take your education away from you too. A side path should be building your strength and growing from this trauma. A third priority path, if you choose, may be to observe the changes in his actions, but such changes need to be based on beliefs, not extrinsic control.
My advice to you is to go be a nurse. Focus on yourself. You are young, you have your whole life ahead of you. And you deserve better than him. The gift of R is a sacred one, not to be demanded by the recipient. Take good care.
First, R takes 2, but it's up to the BS to offer it. If you don't want to offer it, don't - and hold your head high. I think your moral duty here is only to figure out what you want and move in that direction.
It sounds like your H has made some changes, showing at least a little honesty and transparency. That's positive for R, but what else has he done? Is he in IC with a goal of changing from cheater to good partner? Does he answer all your questions? Is he always truthful, or you think he's still lying? What's he read about infidelity? Is he willing to start IC and MC?
What's he not doing that you want him to do? Have you asked him to do those things? If not, are you willing to?
The answers to these questions (among others that you may think of) should give some indication of how good a candidate for R your H is. If you think you may want R, that could help you make your decision.
As to you and your angry all the time phase? Mine started at 3 months....then at 6 months I hit RAGE like none other. I called it my silver back gorilla phase. It lasted 6 months....thank God for gym memberships and free weights!!!
That whole first year was survival.
Don't rush to offer R....my CoD self did and it was a huge, painful, regretful, embarassing part of my history now.
Enter a "well, I guess I am not divorcing" mode.
If your husband is really committing to you...he will understand and he will step up.
.....your post is hard for me to read, but good to read. The whole "affair restarting while in counseling" and the whole "FB and email" crap? My story too.
Not minimizing your pain....trying to help you normalize this trial of trials.
You are not alone Margypan. Thank you for sharing your story....it helps others, like me, write theirs.
Hi Margypan. Your WS may, or may not really want to R. But, that's beside the point.
What do YOU really want. I get the feeling from your post that you don't want to R with him. That you want space and time to think about it..but he is being pushy.
Take your time. Talk to a lawyer. Find out your rights. Do you have children?
I think you are correct..there is no respect. You caught him. He left the door wide open..and now doesn't want to send a NC email, because that would be contacting her. I say..so what?? He had no problem contacting her, chasing her, throughout your entire marriage..but now doesn't want to because that would be contacting her. Im sorry, but I see it differently. he told her he needed time to think..so she is waiting. If he sends her a NC email, then it's really over. And he is hesitating..for reasons that, quite frankly, are ridiculous. YOU need him to send a NC email, and that is *all* he should care about. That he is hesitating, even in the slightest, is a red flag.
He has been in an affair the entire marriage. You really don't know who he is, because he has been lying this entire time. If you want to R with him, then he needs to work on himself and show you the man he IS..not the man he pretends to be. And THEN you can decide if you want to R...or not..because, as I said..I get the impression you don't want to. Or perhaps you are confused, which Lord, who wouldn't be? My goodness, what a shit sandwich he has fed you. Im so sorry.
..that feeling you get in your stomach, when you heart's broken. It's like all the butterflies just died.
My advice to you is to go be a nurse. Focus on yourself. You are young, you have your whole life ahead of you. And you deserve better than him.
When people show you who they are? Believe them.
While I haven't made a decision - I probably was a bit hasty and angry when I made the post. I'm not trying to excuse what my husband did, but I probably over exaggerated it a touch. He's had one brief affair and two long term affairs with the ex I mentioned over the last six years. There were years in between that he didn't see her. But again - that's more of a clarification than me trying to excuse anything. I only add this because if I expect complete honesty from him I feel the need to be completely honest myself - and that requires this clarification.
As of right now - I'm refusing to make a decision. I want to focus on school, and honestly see what he does. He's made a recurring IC appointment which is a step in the right direction. He's being forth coming in all information - even stuff that I could NEVER find out. (Ex. He gave her an old bracelet that I haven't worn in years. I never would have realized that - it's definitely not something he had to disclose, so it shows that he's trying to be transparent.) And he's posting here and ordered some books suggested by other waywards.
I've decided that I won't make a decision at all (at minimum until the end of the semester in Dec.) - and to me that's a decision for now. I agree with some of you that it might not be worth it to even consider recovery since I could end up back here in 5 years with kids in tow - which at this point isn't something to worry about (no kids at the moment). But at the same time, even if I divorce him - I could end up in the same situation with the next guy. I can't let myself base any decision on fear.
I do love him - and we're great friends. So we'll see. I'm focusing on me - and if he's focusing on me and recovery then time will tell.
I appreciate all your responses and look forward to more (on this post and others in the future). You've all given me a lot to think about, and I'm grateful for that!
[This message edited by Margypan at 3:54 PM, August 12th (Tuesday)]