You, me & CH and a few others here need to have our own little club with t-shirts & coffee mugs. And barf buckets.
I don't know where any of this is going to end. I don't even care about myself anymore - I only care about my innocent kiddies.
...but they are. They just don't know it yet. They think that the few of us who know about & are sharing the really icky stuff are the only ones. They are so thankful that their SA isn't like ours.
I know this because I used to be that naive years ago, too.
And then to find out that all along there was this additional layer of sickness...
I have never shared what I found on the computer with a living soul, until tonight.
I'm positive there was more and even worse things that I didn't find. I didn't even want to know. Not then and not now.
What's hardest for me is I was so sure that it started getting really bad around his father's death in 2003. Now I know it's been going on much longer. Which opens the door for that really bad stuff to already be going on instead of in my future.
Right after DDay, DH tried to reformat, then destroy, his old computer. I told him not to bother, I already collected everything. He didn't seem bothered by that. I asked him again recently, and he said he was only trying to get rid of the videos with him in them. I have not tipped my hand about what I know about that. In light of what you all told me, there is a very strong possibility there was something illegal on there. I don't have any evidence to suggest involvement in kiddie porn or S&M or group stuff/etc., but clearly it's something.
I did talk to him last night, as it was pretty clear something was very wrong. I did use the antiversary card. I did say I was extremely disappointed that a year has passed by, and I don't know any more than I did and haven't healed significantly as a result. That he was not in any real recovery and because he hasn't been, hasn't been able to do the disclosure in a timely fashion and thus was holding my healing back. That he has no real consequences for his actions, so he just drifts around, trying to decide if he can get away with not doing much of anything. If I finally leave, he can tell himself there was no chance he could have ever made me happy anyway, oh well. Whereas I am kicked in the face with the consequences of his actions everyday.
I also said that I needed the post nup finalized ASAP. I also said I was considering changing the terms of the arrangement, but didn't expand on that. I could see him getting a little hackled at that, because remember he does not know I have new info - why would I want to change terms NOW? Anyway, I told him I didn't feel safe. I was stuck in a place with no real support and no real job prospects. That he was an income risk at best, in a worst case scenario I'd wind up in a shelter because of him. He was confused, why would you end up in a shelter, and I said if you get arrested for this, lose your license, and fired from your job there is no way I can keep this house. There is no way I could even afford the crappy sketchy apartments we first looked at here - I'd wind up eventually in a shelter without other support.
I went on to say I am at a great disadvantage not knowing everything with respect to the post nup, and that I am and have been making huge life decisions for years without the full story as a consequence of his actions. That I don't deserve this, I deserve a hundred times better.
I also said don't lie to me any more. If you lie to me, I will leave. And left it at that, did not expand. I think he was deathly afraid I was going to ask for full disclosure right then and there, and he was very nearly crapping his pants at this point.
I asked him if his CSAT every discussed the possibility of dual diagnosis (meaning SA as well as something else, like NPD, Bi-Polar, etc.) and he didn't even know what that was. I asked him when he expected to do the timeline and the poly (the one the CSAT needs, not for me), and he said the CSAT made it sound like it was farther off, he was still exploring the WHY and his history. That because SAWH doesn't have any history of child abuse, molestation, etc it's proving a lot more difficult to pinpoint the cause. But he said he would point blank ask about it next session, that it was clear I needed to know ASAP.
I wish I could say it was his rock bottom. I doubt it. He thinks he is doing the work now, so that's something. He is likely very afraid I will leave him after full disclosure, which may be true - but it may be because he doesn't truly fully disclose.
My dear, dear Hath, honey, you have good instincts and sound judgement. But you also, IMHO, tend to over intellectualize. Sometimes you just need to let him know how PISSED you are!
Yeah, it's a coping mechanism. Because you can't feel fear or sadness if you are pissed off and intellectualizing.
I think that is part of the problem, he thinks he is futher along than he is and he's trying to be here for me, help me with day to day stuff, be a present spouse and parent, etc but in truth he is using it to avoid fully immersing in recovery. He still doesn't get that until he does, WE in the fullest sense can never be possible. But he saw a lot of pain and the anger last night, for sure.
I'm just saying, being fresh off of moving (and from a place I only lived two years, not a lifetime) that it is a monumental task to move and you do not want to be doing it in a panic and under duress. Start the purging and packing now, get the irreplaceable things somewhere safe.
And totally call him on it. Tell him he can't play the "I'm paying all these bills" card if he's not really paying them. That may buy you a payment, which can prolong the process a little further. But it sounds like you need to plan that the house may be taken from you, and be surprised if it's not.
I have to look into this as well. It is my general understanding these things take some time, usually they can't immediately toss you for missing a couple of payments but you never know until you read the fine print. I do know that it is fairly easy to call and ask to buy some time for dire circumstances, and they will often give you a pass for one month payment, maybe two.
Did some more research. Remember how pissed I was he spent $1000+ on hookers while laid off a little over two years ago?
It's a LOT more than that. The more I look, the more I find. WTF kind of person sees a hooker at least once a week while they are laid off, on assistance, and taking money from their parents/inlaws, deferring payments on loans and the mortgage? And this is what I KNOW about. I can't even imagine what I DON'T know about.
WTF kind of person sees a hooker at least once a week while they are laid off, on assistance, and taking money from their parents/inlaws, deferring payments on loans and the mortgage?
The answer is that it takes a very sick, addicted/and or/ personality disordered person to do so. But you already know this, and I am glad you have this place to vent!
It is heartbreaking and maddening, but our job now is to set boundaries and enforce consequences around what we will accept from them and what we will not accept, and decide if we even want them in our lives anymore. We deserve to have sanity, truth and peace in our lives.
I would insist on full disclosure in the next two weeks, and if you don't get it or it does not line up with the facts you know, then I would end the relationship. Some people would say that if he is not far enough in recovery he may not be able to give the full truth yet, but you have the power to decide if you are willing to wait to see IF he ever will give you the truth - or to just move on with your life without him. I can guarantee that if he is still hiding big secrets, he will never be in true recovery. Been there, done that.
Try to do something to slow down your thinking, the anger, obsessing and ruminating - take some deep breaths, get a Starbucks, whatever you can do for you -what this crazyness is doing to your body is so devasting-it is adding more injury to what you have already suffered at the hands of the SA.
We all have the power to help ourselves and need to work on getting the tools to aid us in this journey(books, counseling, support groups, ect.) I am praying for you and everyone here who is suffering so much.
IDK in the best case scenario how quickly I can get a disclosure date simply based on his and my CSAT's schedules. It took me over a month to get into her calendar to start.
My parents are coming to visit in less than two weeks. I want to put off telling them as long as I can, if not avoid telling them entirely, because there is no unclosing that door. They live in a small town, and if they tell just one person in "confidence", everyone knows. And thanks to Facebook, the small town idiots would tell the world because they don't understand how FB works.
Post nup is still not finalized. I put a call into my lawyer to find out how quickly we can meet to fast-track this.
I'm also fighting every urge in my body to talk to his mother. I am almost positive he has been using her to get money for some of his activities. It will kill her to find out, and she will tell all his family too, indirectly the same way mine would. But at the same time I did tell SAWH if I found out his initial disclosure was grossly less than the full truth, that I would exact consequences including but not limited to telling his mom.
My plan right now, and it's always changing LOL, is to tell him I need more alimony, guarantee to stay in the house until the kids graduate, sign the post nup ASAP. To pay off the debts in my name ASAP. To sign the paper that allows his CSAT to discuss his treatment with me if he hasn't already. To make an appointment with him solo, to find out if he is grossly lying to the CSAT too.
And I will probably have to postpone the formal disclosure until after my parents' visit. Because all hell is likely to break loose and they don't need to be a part of that, and I don't need them to complicate things. And like I said in all likelihood I doubt the CSATs can find a time they can both be available for the full thing, plus get us prepped for it, by then.
Sigh. But that is all subject to change. You awesome mamas keep giving me good advice and direction that change things. For the better.
You do have a lot of complications, but it sounds as if you are on top of things. Hopefully you will be able to get disclosure lined up and the post nup signed in a reasonable amount of time.
I got disclosure of 14 affairs last year, after 26 years of marriage, 15 of which have been crazymaking. I have had my SA take two polygraphs since then,over the last year (one he passed telling a lie- "he forgot about the slip/relapse"!) and just got my post nup signed last month.
I wasted a lot of time letting him procrastinate and manipulate me on the dates of the disclosure and the post nup. Did not get the disclosure until he started seeing a CSAT that encouraged the disclosure ASAP. Then it was 2 weeks until I got the disclosure & the polygraph a week later.
You sound very strong, just take a breath through all of this when you can.....you are under a tremendous amount of stress. I developed Celiacs at the age of 50 while I was going through one of the big disclosures. I have no doubt it is because my immune system was so compromised. Please try to take care of yourself in all of this.
Generally I agree that if you can hold off confrontation until your legal ducks are in a row I'd suggest you do that. FWIW, I never could do that- I've always confronted within a few hours or days. I think NG did really well, particularly given the circs. Maybe she has helpful ideas or tips??
One caveat about waiting though- reach out to your IC & get a couple of sessions scheduled ASAP. Have lunch with a trusted friend or group member & vent. Go to extra meetings no matter what you have to do to co-ordinate. Take extra care of yourself. And if you can't wait, don't be harsh on yourself- you're human & in a grueling kind of hell only a few people know.
Hath, this is said very gently, and is not intended with malice- why are you keeping his secrets, depriving yourself of needed love and support? Yes, you can never unring the bell. It isn't necessary to be graphic but a burden shared is much easier to bear. Please reach out to them. Issues of this magnitude shouldn't be kept in the dark. Remember- none of the guilt, shame, embarrassment stem from your behavior. You absolutely need support- and if he didn't want to be embarrassed, he should never have allowed things to go so far. What is accomplished by managing things in a way that benefits your SA? Because I see zero benefit for you, holding all of this inside. Again, I ask this not be harsh or uncaring. I too originally wanted to keep things quiet but eventually I shared my burden and have never regretted it.
In the name of self care and love, reach out for support. My CSAT always told us "Families are as sick as their secrets". My family and SAWH's family know what's going on. I have no regrets telling my family. SAWH told *his* family (with significant revision & vilifying of me, whereupon my SIL told me "SAWH has never taken responsibility for what he does. Ever in his life." Words that haunt me.)
As always, YMMV. Take what you need & leave the rest.
"Live a life not an apology." Edward R.Murrow
"I can be changed by what happens to me but I refuse to be reduced by it."
I can't tell my parents, at least not right now. Number one, my mom would go straight to SA=Pedophile. There would be no convincing her otherwise, and she would not stop at any and everything to convince me, to the point of destroying any leverage/advantage I have at this point. Of course, if I find evidence that suggests he is, that changes the whole ballgame. She would be my greatest ally and asset.
This would not be a huge issue if I could expect her to keep her thoughts to herself. But she can't, and soon a whole small town of people would know, most of my extended family. Not that I really care, it's not like I couldn't stop going there or whatever if it came to that. But it would be really hard on the kids not be able to visit any more and impossible to keep it from them if this happened. And they are WAY too young to have to deal with this that explicitly if it can be avoided.
These are people that are all on Facebook, and the kind of well-meaning idiots that don't know the difference between posting on your Wall and sending a PM. So soon I'd get posts on my wall, my mom's wall, etc about sorry your H is a pedophile, let me know what I can do. I swear, I am not making this up. It already happens with other stuff.
I have lots of other kinds of support, group therapy, S-Anon, four friends while long distance are available to talk /chat/email as needed, and of course this group. What I don't have is close IRL friends locally, or even people to hang out with, let watch my kids, etc. I'm working on that now. But as you can imagine it is only that much harder with each bomb that keeps getting dropped on me each day. But even under the best circumstances that takes time, I just have to have faith I just keep swimming and it will all fall into place.
I am reconsidering telling his mom though. Honestly I don't care if I have to cut off the rest of his family. Honestly, I think she has a right to know. But I don't want to put the post nup at risk either. IDK. I need to ponder it more.
I deeply regret it in many ways.
But I understand why you won't tell your family. You are leaving the door open that your marriage might still work - if I had told my family in 2004, my father would have jumped in his car and drove 90 miles an hour to get here and sweep me up and drive me home to NY. My life would be very different - I would probably never been a SAHM, I would have lived in my parents' home until I had enough money to move into an apartment in Manhattan, I might be remarried by now, and I wouldn't have my daughter.
I still don't tell anyone what my H has done, with the exception of a few close friends. My father, sadly, knows too much about it. I think it's aged him. People like my therapist say, "why are you keeping HIS secrets? YOU didn't do anything wrong. Why are YOU walking around carrying ALL the shame for his actions?"
Well, it's because I have to continue to live in this world, and I don't care what anyone says - being married to a SA is scandalous in a way that's hard to describe. So I don't tell anyone.
So I get it. But Sabina has some very very good points. I am going back right now to re-read her post a few more times. Sabina, I think you're braver than me.
Hope, Sabina. I hear what your saying. I'm not opposed to telling my family SOME day. Not today. I can't risk her jeopardizing my post nup. Which she would. And I can't risk her putting my kids in a position of finding out right now, and me not having full custody, and she would if she knew before it was finalized. She can't help who she is, and you can't blame her for going all mama bear and wanting what's best for her cubs. She doesn't realize what all is at stake. But like I said, I find out he is a pedophile? Or find out he is still phoning it in, completely lies his ass off at disclosure? Game on! I told him, these were the consequences of lying to me. Including dealing with the wrath of my mother. :rofl:
I wish I could tell my mom everything. I feel like I could tell my dad everything, and my sister everything, and they'd be supportive without being counterproductive. But my mom, she's a piece of work. She'd destroy SAWH. But in the process not only would I get humiliated, my kids would be traumatized, my house would go into foreclosure and I'd probably go into bankrupcty, and if the post nup wasn't finalized I might still be stuck here, unable to move away, forced to comply with the crazy visitation rules and what few job prospects I have be totally limited by my new credit report and single parenthood in one of the most despressed areas of the nation.
Lordy. Drama much?
I think you really need to press for a full disclosure ASAP. Your WH has been seeing this CSAT since January. I don't know if that means weekly, biweekly, or monthly meetings, but he has now had anywhere from 6-24 sessions. He should have been doing homework to write out and reflect on the course of his SA. I don't know if he is bullshitting you about holding off on the disclosure or if his CSAT is not being aggressive enough. Either way, one year is a hell of a long time to wait. It is time for him to piss or get off the pot. Tell him that the day after your parents leave you want the full disclosure. That gives him a few weeks to really dig in. If he is sincere, he can make this work with his CSAT and the scheduling. It is NOT fair to you to leave you hanging like this. I know he is shitting bricks because he has a lot of things he doesn't want to tell you, but tough. It needs to happen for your sanity at this point.
As for the crazy spending on hookers when he was unemployed, I am not surprised. Acting out is a way of self-soothing and an attempt at burying shame. You or I would not spend funds so foolishly in a time of need, but we are not addicts. I am not excusing his behavior, but I am saying that I know that acting out comes first, except when they are white-knuckling. I know that there were times that my H spent $ that we really needed acting out, especially when we were first married and the kids were young and $ was always so tight even for food and the basics.
You have come SO far! I know you are feeling low right now, but look at all you have accomplished in the last year. If at all possible, hold off on the confrontation until you get the post-nup in place. Protect yourself and the children.
I agree with Sabina about secrets making us sick. We do carry the burden of their behavior, and there is a terrible stigma being the spouse of a SA, so I understand wanting to hold off on telling your family. But balance that with your need for support. Maybe you are underestimating your parent's ability to keep a lid on this damaging information? The thing about disclosure that we tend to forget is that NOT everyone needs to know! We don't need to expose them to work colleagues, neighbors, church members, friends, etc. Exposing them to family and getting support (if you have a supportive family, and I don't) is different. We don't need the drama of fb or everyone knowing, but we do need support. Please, reach out to group members you can trust IRL right now. Please, take care of yourself.
Thank you for sharing details of your stories. It is so hard to share some of the most painful twisted things we have seen. I think that it takes so much courage to be honest about some of this stuff that we have hid for so long. I don't obsess over it the way I used to, but I wish to god that sometimes I could not have seen some of the things I have. Your courage in posting this stuff gives others courage as well.
We have all been through so much. Be gentle to yourselves, and always remember that YOU are worth it!!!
My life has been destroyed by keeping secrets. I won't do it anymore. I sure as hell won't keep STBX's secrets any longer. I have regained my life by not choosing to die for his secrets.