Feeling disillusioned, depressed, and disgusted.
I'm so sorry that you're here. Take a deep breath and allow yourself to process all of this. Eat, sleep, and only worry about that which you can control.
I'm so sorry you are going through this. I, like you, have been with my WH since I was 14....I'm 38 now. He's all I have known to but after 6 months post D-Day I finally moved out because I couldn't handle the constant texting to his OW (he was having an EA). You definitely need some time to process the info you have now and decide how much you can handle. Please take care of YOU!!!!
You've come to a wonderful site to get support and advice. Everyone on here are great!
Your WH has turned your world upside down I know.
The very best thing that I did just days after Dday:
1) Made an appointment with an IC that had experience with infidelity.
2) Read the book, "Not just Friends" by Shirley Glass. Knowing NOTHING about infidelity I found this book helpful.
Wishing you strength.
The truth hurts, but I have never seen it cause the pain that lies do.
First...welcome. You have found an awesome place to work through the issues that you're dealing with.
I'm curious about the 'name' that you chose. *iwant2change*. What does that mean? What do you want to change?
I too have spent my adult life with a serial cheater....unbeknownst to me until a few years ago.
People that serial-cheat are *broken*. Yes, that shit can put your self-esteem in the toilet if you let it....but it isn't about you. With a serial-cheater...you could have been f'n Mother Theresa and the cheating STILL would have happened.
You didn't cause it. You can't control it. And you can't cure it.
You posted no specifics about *your story*, but you indicated that your work is suffering because of what is happening in your life right now.
Compartmentalize. You NEED to work right now. Let your workplace be your *oasis* in this storm. Your WH has taken enough from you. Do NOT let him also affect your job. Go to work and kick ass JUST to 'spite' him. Because how much would it suck to have lost the marriage that you knew and ALSO your job? Hang on to that part of *you*....if you are really struggling, then try to take a bit of vacation time.
P.S. It would really be helpful if you posted a bit more about your story. What he has done, how you found out, and what his *attitude* is in regards to the mess that he created.....
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
Anyway, after many years of marriage and two kids, I saw emails for dating sites on our computer. We only had one at the time, and he left his email open. He wasn't very good at hiding what he was doing, or so I thought. When I confronted him about it, he said he was just curious, didn't do anything... . Many more years later, he goes to his hometown again to visit family, runs into an old girlfriend, and they start talking on the phone. He said it was innocent. I told him I didn't like it, and he said he would stop. Well, of course he didn't stop, but ever the optimist, I believed him. Fast forward to this year, he set up a bank account for our oldest. His name and her name are on it. When I saw the statement, I noticed some questionable charges. It turns out, he had signed up for every hook up site there is. When I confronted him, he said it was for us. He wanted to spice things up... After hours of talking and me begging for the truth, he told me he has a sexual addiction. I asked how many times, and he insists that it was one time. The sites and ads he placed were for sex with men and women. He says he loves me, he wants the marriage, and he's done with all of the searching. That's the short story.
I am now left wondering what I should do. I can't tell my family, and I don't have any friends. He and the kids have been my life. I'm sure most people would tell me to run and never look back, but I want to grow old with him. I feel like I'm so pathetic. I desperately want to believe him, but I feel like I need to change. I need to be brave and walk away or something because I am miserable right now.
This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man, ~ Shakespeare
Most men, when caught with their pants down, will claim a 'sex addiction' rather than own their shit. That's all I ever seem to see anymore when a woman catches a man up to no good, the old 'sexual addiction' excuse. It's getting real old.
Quite honestly, it sounds as though your husband has a need to sew the wild oats he never sewed due to marrying so young. He's so used to having variety and excitement on the side that it's simply become a way of life for him. That doesn't make him a sex addict, it makes him a selfish horse's ass.
It sounds as though your biggest reason for staying with him is because he's all you know and you're looking at 40 and think you're too old to start over.
But you're not. You're honestly not.
He says he loves me, he wants the marriage, and he's done with all of the searching.
I don't believe his story. He is lying to you--about his motivation at the very least. You don't 'spice up' your marriage by signing up for dating sites...unless your spouse is on board and also agrees that would be 'hot'. Plus, he was PAYING for these sites. He wasn't just browsing through the hundreds of 'free' sites. Also, he was looking for sex with women AND men.
I'm very concerned that you have only uncovered the tip of the iceberg here......and I believe that it would be worth your while to have your WH evaluated by a CSAT (certified sexual addiction therapist). If there are no CSAT's near where you live, another one that specializes in addictions may be helpful.
I desperately want to believe him, but I feel like I need to change
I used to be a confident person (maybe too confident). I am now a weak, scared, damaged individual. I do not like myself. I take responsibility for anything I may have done to damage our marriage. I know I am not perfect, and I've tried to be what he wants. I've tried to be a good mother. I've tried to be a good person. I want to understand why he has this desire to be with others. I want to help him. I actually feel bad for him. I don't think he is really dealing with his own issues: his growing up without a father, questioning his sexuality, feeling inadequate in other areas... .
I want to understand. I want to feel like I used to feel. I want to like myself again. I feel like a desperate fool. My family (mother, sisters, aunts, nieces...) believes that we have the ideal marriage. I don't want to disappoint them, and I don't want to feel the embarrassment if/when they find out what's been going on.
I want to change because I don't like the person I have become. I exist, but I'm not living. I only go out when I have to (work, home, grocery store). I spend most of my time these days procrastinating, not getting any work done, watching Hulu. I am officially a mess. And yes, I am afraid of starting all over. The world is a totally different, more insensitive place. I've looked at some of the sites he's frequented, and I'm terrified. Why would anyone create a site like Ashley Madison? Why would anyone encourage infidelity? I have been obsessed with looking at the various dating sites, craigslist, etc. How could I ever trust him or anyone else after all I've learned.
He says he wants our relationship, but he shows very little emotion or remorse. He wants intimacy, and I give him what he wants. He has agreed to wear condoms. He sighs when I want to talk about his addiction. He gets angry when I want to talk about the affairs (or sexual encounters). Sometimes he answers my questions, and other times he says he's told me everything and is done talking about it. I believe there have been other times he has not told me about, but I also want to believe that everything is the way he says it is. He confuses me.
I feel so naive. Thanks for letting me vent.
I am sorry that you've had this happen to you and for so long.
You matter. You are better than this. I don't care how much you eat, etc. You are a human being that deserves to be treated with love, respect, and truth.
You are afraid ( understandably so ) - but it's a lot to digest.
Define your boundaries and be true to yourself. Be your own champion.
Read the 180 and keep moving.
His cheating is HIS decision and has nothing to do with you (as hard as that is to accept) - he's broken.
Focus on you.
[This message edited by savvy at 7:52 PM, May 20th (Monday)]
I'm so so sorry. It's just terrible what you are going through! I just want to say that it's so incredibly normal to not know what you're feeling. It can be just so terribly overwhelming that the emotions just get all jumbled, or they change 10x times a day and you don't know which ones are the ones that you should listen to and which to ignore. That's what happens with me. Denial does do it's own little magic too; it's okay to have it hang around for a bit while you wrap your head and shattered heart around your new unwelcome reality. A little denial can be helpful, at least for a while! It is a terrible road to navigate without a map and you are going to learn a lot. I'm new to the road. I too struggle with protecting myself and feeling compassionate toward the brokenness in my WS that led him to betray for so long. I want to do both, and I most likely cannot. So take care of you. It's a very, very difficult struggle. One way, some day you will find your path. I hope you can find a good therapist, see your doctor. I decided not to tell anyone either except nearly complete strangers because I'm just too humiliated and just in case we do wind up working things out, i don't want people thinking i'm an idiot because they would likely never understand the complications involved in this totally heady overwhelming experience.
Wishing you strength! and maybe breathing exercises to help with the pain?
You need help wrapping your head around all that has been thrown your way. My goodness it is a lot.
No person deserves to live their life in a lie.
I know it is scary but aren't you equally scared to stay with him and subject yourself to more hurt and pain?
Ask yourself this regarding your relationship:
1) What is the worst thing that can happen?
2) What is the best thing that can happen?
3) What is most likely to happen?
Which scenario is right for you and your children?
If you haven't, then you need tested for STD's. Put your health first.
40 isn't old. You have many years ahead of you to live vs. exisiting. Look up the 180 and get YOU back on track.
You are correct when you post that he is sick and you can't fix him. He has to want to fix himself. He has to invest in himself to be healthy and behave in such a manner.
Visualize what happiness could be and then move towards it.
We are rooting for you.
Sooo first thing is you have no unprotected sex with this man. He is a liar ok liars lie don't put yourself in harms way.
Get yourself into counseling him also.
You do not have to have an answer to stay or divorce today or tomorrow.
Know this.. You have done nothing wrong! You are not the blame here. He is sick treat it for now like an illness. If that helps??
Get yourself into counseling asap. You are dependent on him. Make yourself not so dependent go back to school or get a job etc...
You deserve better you deserve to be happy. This is not your fault..
I am so sorry you are here.
You say he is all you know and you are knocking on 40's doorstep
It could be worse you could be 63 like me and just getting WS to finally admit.
You knew. Your gut was right and believe me you are still young and vibrant.
Don't settle, and don't let him treat you like it doesn't matter because it does
I am knocking on 40 too and I have spent more than half my life with my WH.
I suggest installing a keylogger software. It gave me many of the answers that I needed.
The mind movies were worse that the truth.
"Better to be slapped with the truth than kissed with a lie"
Best suggestion at nearly 4 months from d-day is for you to seek IC. It's helping me sort things out.
Go for help, as suggested by the other posters. At this point, it's not just about figuring out what to do, it's also about accepting what you have to do.